Idyll # 405 A blaze of color

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)October 14, 2008

As gb's thread shows, this can be a colorful season too - what are your favorite autumn plants...?

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I find it interesting around now that some trees are very showy and some have even lost all their leaves but some trees haven't started turning color at all yet. The ash in the backyard is only begining to change color. Thursday a tree service is coming to prune out dead wood (and see if EAB is the reason for the dead wood!) Now that EAB is in town, I'm a bit worried that the tree pruners may inadvertantly spread it around! So, if we don't already have it, I'm a little concerned that a visit from the tree pruners could be a source of contamination... From this picture, you can see how important the ash is for shading the house and that it clearly would take more than my remaining lifetime for a replacement tree to match it in size :-)

Some of you may remember that a while ago I planted two Fireball hardy hibiscus that had unusual shaped foliage and that I thought might have good fall color. Here is one of them as it looks today:

I planted both of them near Brookside geraniums, which turn a nice red in a week or so. I sure hope the Fireballs return next year because it looks like they could be great additions to the late summer/fall garden if they grow well and get nice and big!

Julie - I forgot to comment on the last thread... that cabin is a neat thing to have in view :-) It sure makes you realize that our pioneer ancestors were hardier folk - I bet living conditions were a tad chilly in the winter!

V - in these economic conditions, contingency plans are a prudent idea for everyone!

Chelone - yes, BIL and I are/were in banking. We are/were in different companies and diffent aspects of the business. It's a large and complex business that is tightly integrated to much more of the economy in a lot more ways than people (including politicians who should know better!) understand. The whole 'main street bailing out Wall Street' perspective was retail politics trumping common sense and displayed an utter lack of understanding of the linkages between the financial system and the rest of the economy - as events proved very clearly at the end of last week! The Globe and Mail newspaper here on Saturday had a good analysis of the issues under the heading of how to avoid a repeat. I think all politicians should take some detailed lessons in how the financial system really works! It's a painful situation at the moment and I'm sure the pain is going to last a few years at least - and much of it was unnecessary if the right actions had been taken quickly. But those actions would have taken a lot of courage on the part of legislators and that sort of courage is a commodity in short supply in an election year!

Speaking of election years - our federal election was today so we'll be doing more TV watching than usual tonight....

Here is a link that might be useful: how to avoid a repeat

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 7:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Check out the photo link below. Can you spot the Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' just to the left of the front door? Yeah, I know just how it got there. Which is why I usually like my job.

Here is a link that might be useful: TV Show Photo

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:28PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good evening, all! What a gorgeous fall day it was here in the not-so-frozen north!

Yesterday was our Thanksgiving, and I tried hard to be thankful for all that I have: especially:

- for a DH who takes off the deck steps and then moves on to other projects (*grin* we have deck steps again today!);
-for a DS who decides to give up his long week-end off to install a floor in the master bedroom with help from DH, both of whom decide to quit when the closet part gets tricky;
-for a DD who arrives with her dog and three bottles of wine;
-for a wonderful grandson who sits at the table where there is a veritable feast of turkey, dressing, gravy, yams, cheese potatoes, carrots, broccoli, salad and apple crisp, and eats three carrot sticks for dinner.

For all of these, and a sense of humour, I am grateful.

Nothing could dampen my spirits when the weather was amazingly gorgeous!

I have no camera batteries just now, so no new photos, but maybe tomorrow! DD was saying that she cannot ever remember a fall with such excruciatingly lovely colours!

Today was also beautiful After DH finished with the deck he and I sat outside and talked about our plan for the back yard - and scrapped it completely! We decided that installing a covered patio next to the deck would be expensive, and now that the deck is more functional, probably redundant. So tomorrow I start moving plants and rocks and re-digging my pond and we will sit there on grass all summer and enjoy it. As I will be starting from "scratch" more or less, I will be sure to take the before-and-after photos. Maybe not as exciting as some of those I have seen on this site, but fun for me anyway.

I am very hopeful that the bedroom furniture will actually move back into the bedroom this week...Who was it that cracked me up by picturing us eating our TG dinner on the bed? Not too far off the mark, I must say (*grin*).

I am feeling decidely cheery as I head off to bed in my half a bedroom, knowing that the house is such a mess I can't possible do any "JulieJobs" tomorrow so I will just HAVE to work outside in the gardens!

I will catch up with all of you tomorrow!



    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well I am thankful that YOU have a sense of humor too Julie!!!
Men! Phils, all of 'em! ;)

3 carrot sticks??? OY!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 11:03PM
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I do so want to post a blazing color pic but we have none yet! Julie, your observations on your 'family unit' and enviorns are always of interest .. Not my thanksgiving yet, but i am thankful for the Idylls and the wonderful friends I have made here..

V,I can't get that pic big enough to see the plants !

Just wanted to check in and say Hi, glad to see Cindy post, still missing Cynthia, and how nice it would be to hear from Babs an Honey !

G'nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 11:09PM
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I am entirely in favor of contingency plans, too. Certainly, there is no way to prevent all unpleasant circumstances with one, but sometimes just thinking about something that makes you nervous or uncomfortable and "hatchin' a plan" can help put things in perspective. I think it's a very practical way to empower yourself.

Woody, you must be worried sick about your Ash tree, I would be. PM mentioned the latest threat in our area, the Asian Long Horned beetle. Frankly, I don't think the media has paid nearly enough attention to the potential devastation to our area/economies these invaders can pose. I would share your concern about arboritst spreading it, too... I'm certain you will ask them a lot of questions about good sanitation and healthy practices! I don't have time to read the article you linked right now, but will be very interested in it later on today. I've read a nuber of articles in the New York Times and there have been several very good discussions of it on the NPR's Diane Rehm show. It's scarey stuff, but also very, very interesting.

Julie, your house sounds about like our's was in the first few years we lived here. We moved into it within 90 days of breaking ground, lol. All the mechanical systems were in place, it was insulated and sheetrocked, and we had exactly 4 doors (to meet the occupancy code). We have done the biggest part of the work all by ourselves, so I understand completely the reality of working around "projects". I vividly recall the day I finished sanding all the walls... and knew that sheetrock dust was a thing of the past. DIY home improvements are not for the faint of heart or those without a funny bone close to the surface. Just think of how great everything is going to look when it's all finished! LOL about DGS and his 3 carrot sticks... too funny.

Well... the ol' Red Sox received quite a shellacing last night. Not one of their more stellar performances, lol. The helpmeet has long since learned not to get his hopes up, a peculiar tradition familiar to Sox fans. ;) Hope Kathy's Dodgers are faring better (have missed the sports for a few days now).

Off to work, where I'll formulate my own version of a contingency plant while binding the latest project. I have let the Salon "lie" for the summer, but am now increasing the pressure to get the base for the woodstove's hearth constructed. I have to get the cement block chimney skim-coated to obtain a nice, smooth facade. Contingency planning helps me get through days when I don't think I can take any more disorganization or clutter, lol. Later!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 5:22AM
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Im continuing to dismantle pots. The process is nearly done. Some need to be wrestled out of the pots. I feel so bad throwing out all those lovely plants.

I told DH last night that I must be crazy to haul all these plants to the basement. He didnÂt agree and offered to set up another light. HeÂs a terrible enabler.

I have also been planting bulbs as I get time.

In the butterfly shot Kenzie got so excited about wanting to take it home that she was given a monarch butterfly made out of feathers by one of the workers.

Julie, the cabin is adorable and IÂm eyeing that flagstone piled on the side. What a scenic view for you.

Chelone, Kenzie would dearly love to hold your little critter. I certainly wouldnÂt touch it!

Âbug, you sure set a lovely table and the turkey looks scrumptious.

Denise, I got a good chuckle over the wagon fight.

V, interesting that you were involved with the Extreme Makeover. My sister sent me an email to watch the show this past Sunday since her kids were part of the taping. ItÂs a small world.

Woody, our ashes have been yellow for a week or more. We have 4 on the west side of our house. Nice color on the hibiscus.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 11:31AM
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Ballgame/Idyll muti-task tonight,typing during commercials. Still very warm and very dry here. Chapstick and hand lotion abounds. Dentist today-the impressions for the long awaited crowns that go over my implants, 3 weeks and Ill have some additional teeth ! This will be a 7 day workweek for me (physical inventories) and then next Wednesday DS and I take off to Eugene/Portland to visit BILs , DD and Mr Baby, plus a stop in Ashland Oregon on the way home to take in a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Chelone, the Dodgers are on the very brink of elimination (if they dont win tonight its adios ) but they have not, thank God, been publicly humiliated like the Bo-Sox. Games have been close and competitive. And, very enjoyable games to watch as well despite some of the outcomes. Judging from my visit to the Nor-East this July, I doubt the woodstove will be needed for Idyll Summer Camp ! However, I am certain you have designs on using the salon this winter ;I hope you are able to get this project moved to the front burner (so to speak) .

V, though I am considered a key employee for my company, even after 21 years it is interesting to come across others who try to discredit or undermine ones efforts. I have watched many people of this ilk come and go over the years. My approach has always been to just sit back and let them hang themselves-which they usually do eventually. My strategy is , if you make a mistake , admit it and fix it, before your detractors do. And then, learn how to fix *everything*.. its pretty hard to throw the guy who just rescued you under the bus.

Ok, time to go , nite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 9:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's a long day when you wake up at 4:30...and then discover that it was really 3:30 and that the cat reset the clock by stepping on the key button.

The result was not all bad however, because at that time I was able to hear an owl making its distinctive calls. Something powerful about that.

My first book for Book Club arrived today and I think I'll enjoy it. HOME, a short history of an idea by Witold Rybczynski. Yes, I spelled that correctly! I've only managed 25 pages so far.

It is drizzling outdoors and I miss the amazing moon of earlier this week. I hope I can attack at least a bit of garden tomorrow. I've been in stunned mode, doing nothing at all but walk the dog and manage a few errands. Then too I had the electrician visit, made an appointment for Phoebe's grooming, arranged for a dentist appointment, etc. All the exciting things, right?

I had a most peculiar phone call last night. I woman began insulting me at high volume for stealing her newspaper...and she saw me do it too. What the heck???? When I suggested she had the wrong number and that I have no neighbors who can see our home, her vocabulary became enriched. I had to hang up on her as she gave no sign of quitting or even coming up for air. The last thing I want is a newspaper. Even 'news' on the web is overpowering sometimes. But our local news is pretty pathetic. Speeder of the Week is front page news here and there is no foreign coverage at all. Yes my friends, the US is a foreign country.

Perhaps I'll manage a few more pages of my book and join the cats in bed.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK V, how did Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' get there?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 11:01PM
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I joined the cats in bed rather early last night, too, 'bug. I'm about half way through, "The Other Boleyn Girl" and am bogging down, though still flipping pages. William Carey has just succumbed to the Sweating Sickness, the "Great divorce" is apparently shelved and we're just moving into late 1529.

I dug a lot of Echinacea last weekend and culled many plants, chucking the "saves" in a bucket of slurry for safe-keeping. Rex helped me get them in the ground yesterday afternoon. I think I have something like 2 dozen, some 3rd. year plants, others are 2 yrs. old. Clearly, I will be using them to "make a statement" next summer. They're easy, pretty, and I have them in abundance! I want to add another grass to the border, preferably something blue. Do any of you have "Heavy Metal", if you do what can you tell me about its mature size? Or have you any other good suggesstions for something "blue" that doesn't attain skyscraper proportions? I also spent some time WALATing along the road behind the Magnolia. I pulled some big weeds and began thinking about how to use the divisions of the Miscanthus, whether or not we should use more privet (trimmed shorter) to help fence the southern border of Vegetable World.

Measurements for the block chimney are in my handbag and I plan to get to the "stucco/plaster store" to purchase the supplies this afternoon. I've been told we have the necessary masonry tools on premises, so will try to round them up later today, too (which gets back to the old problem of failure to "put things away", lol). I have a few more piddly errands to take care of and today is supposed to be sort of wet and clammy so this is the day for it. Generally speaking there is not much need for the woodstove in the summertime, but there can be very raw weather and a few days of it in a row can make a small fire a very nice treat in the evening, Kathy (esp. if you really need to dry laundry)!

The smell of fibreglass resin was heavy in the air when I got home around 3 PM. Seems the helpmeet, aware the window of opportunity is closing quickly, decided to finish up the perimeter of the deck yesterday. I suspect he is regretting all the perfect days he blew the chore off in favor of sailing... . I will be mightily relieved when he completes the entire project (it was started in July) and I'm sure he will, too. I have remained stoically silent, patiently moving the requisite equipment stored in our dining area whenever I've had to vacuum... .

I hope to lift and divide the Bearded Iris this weekend. Just to refresh my memory, Saucy... lift and divide them, allowing rhizomes to be shipped to dry off for a day/two. Wrap in newspaper and send to their new destinations? Yes? (I've never mailed plant material before).

Sorry about the Dodgers, Kathy. :( But at least Manny came out swinging! We in Red Sox Nation have our reckoning this evening. The rain is supposed to clear out in time for the game.

Gotta run, finish up the cockpit cover for a small plane and then move on to large cushion. I hope today is a "quick" one. I have places to go and things to do after work, after all.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 5:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Chelone...Heavy Metal is very pretty. It is changing color these days. Here is how it looked on the 14th...just the other day!

If we were neighbors, it would be all yours. It is in a bed that I must remove. The spruce trees are burying the island bed that grows at the base of a laundry pole there. The pole is rotten and not going to last either. Some of the plants will head up to the mailbox area to welcome guests to our home. I find that Heavy Metal will tolerate some wind, but not the fierce wind of that treeless open area.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 6:47AM
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Good morning!

I laughed at the cat's antics, GB! I would like to experience hearing an owl in the early morning hours, too.

Instead I was dreaming that I was buying a daycare, and that they wanted an answer right now because they needed to call Japan right

I have what looks like pink eye. Lovely.

Sarah is suffering yet again from tonsilitis. We had a funny conversation the other night in which she wanted to see my tonsils. So I expained that mine were not visibly HUGE like hers. So she got the idea that we use the camera to take a picture, but everytime she said "ahhh" the lens fogged up. Later I heard her say, "Wow!" from the upstairs bath....she was finally able to see with those 1000 watt bulbs Nick put in the bathroom, LOL!

So class was interesting last night and I was able to get a lot of answers about the "woods" on my property. Mostly in the direction of how to cull out the undesirables and what to replace it with...but really, I got the thumbs up on what I have, which is good news. Now that I've done a good battle against grapevine and bittersweet (honeysuckle, too) maybe I can begin to make a list of things I'd like to see.

The discussion was woodland case you hadn't guessed.

I got an A+ on last weeks assignment and compliments on my elevation drawings. Now that I have it back, I will consider showing you, Chelone :) Our last assignment involves class critique....that should be fun, huh?

The kids are going to Maine this coming weekend, so I bought some of those China storage boxes (do I know how to have fun, or what) and I'm going to put "away" the china into my pantry and repurpose the hutch into a message/phone center...sounds hideous when I write it down, :)

I've got a bus to catch.



    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 7:24AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I laughed when Michelle said she was eyeing those flagstones: I was, too, and the owners warned me ahead of time that they weren't giving them away or selling them. I went to a friend's farm and dug literally tons of fieldstone and used it in my yard (I didn't remember to leave enough space for the lawn mower between veggie bins *grin*), and I think the neighbours still think I purloined some of their rock. Note the little visitor, thwarted by my wonderfully attractive fencing!

I also got a chuckle out of your cat, 'bug! Last night we had drifted off to sleep when DH's alarm went. Remember that our bedroom is still all over the house! So he found it and turned it off, he thought, but he must have just hit the snooze button because ten minutes later, off it went again. So he unplugged it. Now this is a fool-proof clock so after twenty minutes it gives out a foghorn blast just to let you know it is not plugged in. I am tired today...

Yesterday I was able to dig up the junk that was under where the deck steps used to be (sounds wierd...) move the patio stones to the base of the new steps, take out sod, remove the hellebores and the primrose and the monster black elderberry, put in some of my flagstone cache, replant the primrose and hellebores, bag up the elderberry for a friend, and lay out a little place for the pond to go back in. Just in time, as it is kind of moist out there today - I will try to plant my 12 bulbs in that new little space and maybe some Japanese Iris (that's Siberian Iris, right? The tall reedy kind?). Then at least things will look presentable for the Spring....

Little Mister Three Carrot Sticks helped finish the plan his birthday party as he ate (yup, ATE) breakfast this morning so I have to make a run to the dollar store for invites and glow sticks, to the grocery to order the cake he wants, to the bowling alley to pay for the use of the place and the hot dogs (yuck), and then to get my hair cut. That should pretty well take up the rest of the morning. I'll check in tonight to see what everyone's JulieJobs were. Haha, I can't do any yet....

Cheers, Julie

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Chelone, blue oat grass would be a good choice. 2' tall and nice steely blue.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I don't know about the rest of you, but my screen is not wide enough for that picture! :-)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:47AM
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Julie, I see your pictures are in Photobucket. Its best to resize them after you upload otherwise they make the whole post so that you have to scroll back and forth to read. (What Marian is refering to) You can either resize the photo in Photobucket or they have an option to resize automatically when uploaded. See where it says "Reduce to:" in right under the place where you choose the files to upload. Choose 640 x 480 which works good for posting on forums. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:54AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Julie, that rabbit definitely was looking for the door into the veggie garden! I had to go back and look at the little log cabin photo again as I had missed the field stone stash - I thought it was part of the cabin's foundation.

GB, I got a phone call in mid-summer from one of our customers asking for help with a top-secret project. We had to sign confidentiality agreements and the whole nine yards. So here I was, trying to get the very best plants possible but I could not explain why. It was a very small contribution to the overall project, but kind of fun to be involved up front like that.

Saucy, it sounds like your class is going quite well.

Julie, all my laundry is FINALLY done.

Kathy, sage advice on being the ultimate go-to person. I think it's going to be an interesting winter in a lot of offices.

Life can be funny at times. As I was getting very concerned about things at work, a very circuitious route led me to discover a potential "contingency plan". At the moment, I won't do anything more than keep it stashed in the back of my mind, but it does give some comfort to know that there is a possibility to explore if necessary. Sorry to be a little obtuse about it, but I don't want to spill the beans to all you lurkers out there! (Bwa-haa-haa, we know you're out there!)

Lunch is over, TTYL!


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 2:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Okay gang, dinner is over also - where is everyone?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Slow times on the Idylls- wishin Michelle would get her puter fixed, and Deanne is probably 6 ft deep in Coleus cuttings ! Well, the boys in blue finally laid down and died at the Phillies feet, but it was fun while it lasted. The reading and movie lists are waiting in the wings for the World Series to be over. On the garden front, I am watering every single day when I get home- in the middle of October . If we dont get some rain here pretty soon Im going to be watering in the dark.

Julie, I continue to be impressed daily by your litany of chores doneno one could accuse you of being sedentary! I thank my lucky stars that Mr Bunny does not visit me here, nor have I ever had a gopher in my present garden. I think your veggies look lovely, chicken wire and all.

bug, I think I occasionally have mysterious cat related clock-radio issues. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and the radio is on for no apparent reason.

Chelone, I sure liked the photo Michelle posted of her Blue Oat Grass, and bugs Heavy Metal too. That Blue Oat would look very nice with your Echinaceas I think.

Saucy, I remember the olden days when friends of mine were having their tonsils out right and left (we are talking about the 50s here) and I was spared that fate. I guess that is rarely done these days ? I can envision it as one of those unnecessary surgery issues. I believe you might be the valedictorian of garden design class Saucy ! So if your were to take a photo of your elevations you could post it for your adoring fans on the Idylls ! Did the GGs trellis get raised ?

Okay, well I guess Ill sign off for now ..

Kathy in Napa..

Cmon out Idylls !!!!!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You can ignore real news.

Today a warbler stopped by the dining room window. I checked "confusing Fall warblers" in my Peterson's Guide and found out it was a yellow-rumped warbler. I didn't get a bum shot, but it was definitely bright!

Phoebe and I have spent a leisurely day here. I had hoped to have her romp about with Nora the German Shepherd, but it seems Nora just got fixed and that their exuberance will have to wait until next week. There were sunny moments though and Phoebe enjoyed chasing leaves in the wind.

We expect ZERO degree temperatures overnight and tomorrow night down to 3 below. (That is centigrade, so 26F) I am wondering how to determine the right stage for collecting rose hips for Woody. Some are red, other soft and deep red, almost purple.

My gardening buddies have called to say to expect a visit from them tomorrow. There are so many things to do, but bulb planting will be one activity: fritillarias, narcissus and spring green tulips. I'll wish I had bought more next spring, but in fact, I hope the ones I planted at Sarah's put on a glorious show in time to celebrate baby's birth.

S & W are far from email connection, so I miss them intensely. Tomorrow DS is expected to meet up with DH in Antwerp.

Olly olly oxen free

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:33PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

o.k. how's this? Thanks for the tip,Michelle, I will likely just resize them all when I upload. Learn something new everyday...

O.K. so the party stuff is done and invites written for TCS (Three Carrot Sticks, his new name) to take to school tomorrow. Homework and music didn't happen tonight so that will be done tomorrow morning so you likely won't see me early in the day. Bulbs are planted. Dog got exercise today, for once. Hah, V., my laundry will NEVER be ALL done! Still can't put up my drying racks indoors - Sr. and Inter. Phil say te=hey will finish the floors on Saturday and move the furniture back into it's place, sort of. Still have to do baseboards,and clean up the walls where they leave marks (how they do that I don't know). We will having the same cold temperatures as 'bug this week, so I'm thinking my outdoor drying days are numbered.

Oh 'bug, I wish your garden friends could come over here for a day or two - that's all it would take but I just don't have the gumption. Tomorrow I will empty the rest of the pots and hanging baskets and WALAT and pretend I know what I'm doing... well, I do know what I should be doing. Soon enough the white stuff will cover it all up and I won't think about it until March. But I really must plant the garlic this week or we won;t have any next summer. Horrors!

Tomorrow I will upload whatever is on my camera and maybe try to show you something a little more recent.

BTW, Blue Oat Grass is super - just about one of my favourite plants in my front garden. I like Little Bluestem too - it is looking very blue and red right now - not invasive, either!

Yeah, the Idylls are quiet - I don't know about you guys, but many of the recent events in my life, that of my friends, and in the world have left me reeling. Not to mention the Canadian non-election....




    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:55PM
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I can't be sure, but I think I hear the 'Sox suffering the same fate as the Dodgers in the room behind me....

Tomorrow I will take a picture of my design....though the one I'm working on now is going to be 10 times better because I'm going to use velum to make a season by season change to lay over the grand design....insert V's evil laughter here :)

GB, I washed and filled my bird feeders, but no sign of something as exciting as a Warbler! Too bad that Nora couldn't come out to play :) Chasing leaves sounds like a good Phoebles game. I hope Sarah and Wayne are having great weather, no altitude issues, and have lots of adventures to tell you about over the winter months :)

My baby ran for class representative today and lost. She was so tickled when she told me that she would've won "alternate" if her best friend hadn't been out sick. I'm glad it was a close race :)

In other 4th grade news: Saucydog made room mother!!!

Kathy, tonsil removal is back in vogue. The procedure sounds barbaric to me. There are some pretty strong family features running through me, you say? LOL

Julie, I love your veggie garden path! I'm sure the rabbit is just there to sun himself :) I have fetched stone from far of places, too...that's hard work.

Michelle, Kenzie is looking so grown up to me.

Mary, you sound like you could use a hot bath after all the work you've done. I hope you get some good down time, soon.

I heard the t.v. turn off, so I guess I'd better head upstairs before all the lights go out....I can't lay in the bed with the moon shining in my skylight without thinking of all of you looking at the moon, too, now. Funny how things like that stick.

'night all!

Oh! I forgot....I took my camera to Tower Hill last night, so if you're bored, you can take a virtual fall tour :)


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

There may be frost in the low areas tonight. If so, it will be the first for this season. It should not effect us, since we are higher up. I have the wood stove layed up to light in the morning.
I raked and hauled off 4 garden cart loads of honey locust pods from in front of our house. I wonder if anyone remembers who it was who thought my pic of them, a couple of years ago, was banana peels?? LOL !
The 4 loads was just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more on the ground, and on the tree.

I have all my potted plants in that I am bringing in, except for geraniums...and I may not bring them in.

Marie, I saw 2-3 warblers in the bladdernut a couple of days ago while eating our noon meal. They were not there long enough for me to identify them. As you said, the fall warblers are 'confusing'. I have the Peterson's Field Guide, The Audubon Guide, and The National Geographic Guide.
The Bladdernut was the source of attraction to not only the warblers, but to a wren, and some titmice. None of them tarried long.

It is already down to 48F out, and the cats are in, and bedded down.

The moon is up, but hasn't cleared the trees yet, but I don't think there are any clouds, so it should be quite bright out soon. It was cloudy last night, and we got a light shower.

I love when I hear the owls. There are 3 or 4 species here. The screech owls are the scariest! :-)

I did a 'Julie job" this morning. I washed a load of towels. Then this afternoon I folded them, and put them away.

It is now bedtime for me. Nolon sacked out over an hour ago.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Moon rises at 7:32 pm here tonight, it is about 7:40 right now.There is a hilly area between me and the horizon, so it will be awhile b-4 I see it...Marian has 48 right now-it is 65 here.
RedSox are fading, and I am going to enjoy some quality time with Saucys TH photos.

You got the pic resize thing dialed Julie !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:38PM
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Do the Red Sox know how to extract maximum nail biting response, or what? I recall telling everyone they'd have their hands full with the Rays, and they're going to have to be at the very top of their game if they're going to haul their backsides out of the fire. Bummer about the Dodgers, Kathy.

Another one who thinks of you guys when the moon is up and bright, too. It was just beautiful the morning before yesterday. I actually was able to drive the open stretch by the ocean with the headlights off, watching the light dance off the water.

Nice job on the picture thing, Julie. I am such a fool with that sort of thing, when're you going to teach the tutorial? Lol about TCS, your young warrior brave. Mum declared I was the fussiest eater on the planet when I was a kid. There was no "forcing", eat or go hungry. Of necessity, I mastered the PB sandwich pretty early. :) I love the path in your garden, clearly Mr. Bun-Bun does, too.

It's supposed to be cold here tonight, too; possibly our first frost of the season. The leaves are beginning to float to the ground and the season of bare is about to descend on us. I'm trying not to think too much about it. But! there is hope, I've been pretty good at keeping myself busy enough that I haven't really had time for the fall miasma to settle in.

Thanks for the suggestions for "blue" grasses, I'd forgotten all about the Blue Oat Grass you suggested, Michelle. I'm also looking for something that gets tall, though not quite as overpowering at the nearly 8' Miscanthus that now dominates the bed and shades a rather pretty Chamaecyparis (didn't check the spelling).

I failed in my attempt yesterday to find the proper material for skimcoating the cement block chimney in the Salon. I spent some quality time googling and think I found a winner, I've e-mailed the MA based company for a dealer near me. I looked at tile for the hearth, too, settling on something that is quiet, "basic", and will be benign enough to survive a wall color change in the future. I'm leaning toward a ceramic knock-off of Carrarra marble (looked pretty good, actually and not much money). I thought that would look nice with the pistachio green walls, the pickled woodwork, and soapstone of the stove. But the skimcoating is the paramount task awaiting me and I have to get crackin' on it.

I can't wait to see your garden plan, Saucy. It's sounds as though you're really enjoying the class and taking the "fun for mentals" (fundamentals) to heart. Want some Bearded Iris? lol. The culled Echinacea is probably still viable too, as it's under several layers of moist clippings near the top of the compost pile... (guarded by the 2' garter snake).

OK, gotta get the screen panels for the deck into the car so I may mend them this afternoon. So I'm outta here.

Shine on, you crazy diamonds. ;)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 5:26AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Pretty close to peak foliage color here right now. Soon I'll be up to my knees in leaves. Not looking forward to that.

My heating contractor was in this week doing some preliminary piping work in the basement in preparation for the new furnace. Next week the gas company is supposed to do the big dig across my front lawn then it's good bye 67 year old oil furnace. Since April 1st that baby has burned almost 300 gallons of oil in a mostly non heating season. Between going to natural gas and a installing a high efficiency furnace I should save a bundle on heating costs going forward.

My mom arrives this afternoon for a two night stopover on her annual migration to Florida. It seems like she was just here during the trip north but that was Memorial Day weekend. As usual, time flies.

Zoe had another seizure this morning. Only her second but I didn't witness the first one a month or so ago so I don't have a comparison point. It was very mild and seemed more motor skill related. After 15 seconds or so she got up and went outside to The vet ran full panel bloodwork the first time and found nothing wrong. She did have her teeth cleaned yesterday and was a bit logie last night. Both seizures happened just before a meal when she gets the most excited. My baby boo face is going to be 11 in a couple of months but most of the time she acts like she's two.

OK, time to hit the ground running. Mommie dearest just called to tell me she will be arriving between 3 and 4. Nice of her to give me so much notice. Looks like I'll have to fly the work coop early...too


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:02AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I've got badly behind on reading here....

Julie - you are one busy lady there! I enjoy reading your tales of the Phils. TCS is funny.

Saucy - your course sounds like fun and I'm looking forward to seeing your plans/drawings.

gb - don't worry too much about trying to guess when the hips are ripe. Just pick a few over the next week or two and some of them are bound to be ripe! I read somewhere that the seeds are supposed to be brownish when they're ripe but, for my angel roses, the seeds are always white and they still germinate.

Chelone - Blue Oat Grass is the only ornamental grass I have here. It's quite small - about 18" but looks good with many things. I'm very leery of planting grasses. I worry that even the clumping ones will be a problem. I gather the big ones can be dreadfully difficult to lift and divide when the center dies out. Plus I worry that all those seedheads that are considered so ornamental will be spreading seeds around and grass seed germinates far too easily! So I wonder if, a few years down the road, ornamental grasses would become a maintenance problem in several different ways. I cut off the seadheads on the Oatgrass to ensure it doesn't seed. The blue foliage is why I grow it. It hasn't needed dividing yet so I don't know if that will be a problem at some point or not. Has anybody had problems with their ornamental grasses seeding around?

The dryer in the basement died on the weekend so I had to go hunting for a new one this week. It will soon be too cold for drying everything outdoors.

The tree pruners didn't show up yesterday - they called last night to say they had a few people off sick but were hoping to come today. I think there's some 'bug' going around here because the cleaning lady was wearing a mask on Wednesday because she had a nasty cold and didn't want to spread the germs!

The big Copper beast arrived yesterday to stay until Monday. She's 2 1/2 now and has settled down a fair bit. She's not chasing Misty relentlessly in the house now - but outdoors her herding insticts still kick in and she doesn't want to let Misty off the patio. Her coat has faded a fair bit - she's no longer copper-colored; she's more of a bleached-out Strawberry-blonde now. She almost perfectly blends in with the fallen pine needles and ash leaves!

Time to go get me and the bests fed and exercised before the plumber arrives to fix a leaky valve on the furnace himidifier...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Friday morning all,

I've had a busy, busy week here and I'm still only half done with the pots. Like Marian, I might not take the geraniums in this year (except for the ones from Michelle). Too much stuff. I gave away a couple dozen rooted and potted up coleus cuttings to a friend yesterday. I'm down to about 112 cuttings or so and I'll cull them again in another couple weeks. I really only need one per variety at this point but its difficult to let go of stuff.

We were supposed to have a hard frost last night but it didn't happen yet again. I'm thinking this weekend will be the big frost finally though so I've started getting serious about taking in stuff I want to save. I almost decided to let the banana go but at the last minute last night I enlisted Doug's help and got that pruned and in the garage. The ridiculous thing is nine and a half feet tall and must weigh 150 pounds. I have no idea how the heck I"m going to get that in the basement this year. I'll worry about that later. LOL I took in the fuchsia standards as well as five or six of the larger fuchsias I don't want to lose but there are still SO MANY out there. Today will be a busy busy day.

Last weekend we decided to take a quick trip to NY to re-visit the NYBG to see their fall borders. Man, I'm so glad we did that. Their fall color is amazing with lots and lots of tender salvias providing late season interest. They also are a Zone 7 so there were camelias in bloom in the 'Ladies Border'. Just lovely. The rose garden was amazing and even more beautiful than when we visited in July. My only regret is that we didn't have time to see the Conservatory. I'm thinking I'll have to take another drive south in the next few weeks. LOL

Saucy, I absolutely love your photographs from Tower Hill!!! Beautiful images. Thanks for sharing those. It sounds like your class is marvelous and that you've really learned a lot.

V sorry for the work worries but glad you've come up with a contingency plan. ~~ BTW the cuttings from the sedum seedling are now rooted and one is blooming and even in the house not in direct sunlight the flowers are looking yellow. Woohoo!

Michelle, love that combination with the oat grass and variegated sedum. Its lovely!

Julie, lol with the bunny on the garden path. Love the flagstone path.

Denise, LOL about the fight over the wagon. People never cease to amaze me. Doug and I have a lovely pair of those very comfy folding sling chairs with cup holders on the sides. We always bring them to any summer outing we go to so we always have a comfy chair, yes, you guessed it, the second my bum is out of my chair someone else sits in it and I'm too silly to ask for it back. If its good and looks available someone will appropriate it.

Kathy, did you get your permanent crowns on yet? I'll bet you're ready for that to be over with.

Woody, have you ever seen Miscanthus 'Morning Light' ? It really is a lovely smaller ornamental grass and I just love mine. I think mine is now about five or six feet tall with the seed heads and I've never seen a seedling from it.

Sue, sorry about Zoe. That's awful. ~~ I'm not envying your cleanup from that huge sycamore tree in your back yard not to mention cleanup from the trench for the gas line.

OK back at it with getting plants in. Have a great day all.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 9:39AM
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The frost was on the pumpkin Wednesday night, so I spent last night clearing out tomato vines & pepper plants. Some of the annuals made it through with flying colors. I have 5 remaining pots that I covered but the coleus still croaked. Its a rainy day here, DH is getting a little agitated as we have had a fair amount of wet days and the harvest is pretty much on hold these days. Since it gets dark pretty early these days Ive turned my attention to the upstairs bedroom which used to belong to DD. The wallpaper border is now gone. Since the bottom ½ was navy blue, I will probably prime and then paint. She took her twin bed for Kenzie so we are putting our queen in there and will have another guestroom. Im also planning to paint our bedroom and who knows what other projects Ill come up with. Actually the laundry room is still waiting for DHs son to install the new flooring and then we can finish up in there.

Kathy, my computer guy dropped my computer off at my office this a.m. Now thats small town for you.

Maybe now I can upload some of the many pictures Ive been taking of the garden lately.

One other thing about the blue oat grass is that it seems to do well in partial shade. I have three on the NE corner of the house in front of my continus.

Woody, I havent had any seedlings from any of my grasses. I dont have any giant grasses certainly not the 8 footers. I have blue fescue, calamagrotis Karl Foerstor, miscanthus Morning Light, calamagrostis Eldorado, calamagrostis brachytricha and the blue oat. They have all stayed manageable size for me so far.

Julie, great job resizing the picture. The rabbit reminds me of the Peter Rabbit story. The stone path is great!

Deanne, the NYBG looks like a wonderful place to visit in the fall. Im feeling the pinch on space for all the plants I hauled in.

I must get to work.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today I asked my friends to eliminate the mailbox garden. It is just too much finicky work eliminating the twitch grass from it all the time. So all the plants except the bulbs are off to be composted...unless they choose to keep them for their gardens. It just makes sense to pare things down.

The doctor phoned to cancel today's appointment...leaving me very uncomfortable until Monday. Sigh.

Got a brief update from S&W. Their keyboard was missing a few essential letters...but I figured things out. :)

Off to snip some rose hips for Woody.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 1:20PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne and Michelle - I'll have to look at the Morning Light one - but 5-6' is pretty big in my books! I've pretty much run out of space to plant things though... Good to hear about the (not) seeding, although I still have doubts. I am worried about it because my neighbour across the street has a lot of grasses; I've been seeing grass that doesn't look like lawn grass popping up in places in my garden so I am begining to suspect it might be ornamental grass of some sort....

Here's a couple of pictures of our big Copper beast guest (I really like her face in particular)

She's very similar to Phoebe in a lot of ways but not as stocky and with a long, long tail (picture that tail dipped in a paint tray and then wagging about!)

I love these late season bugbanes - so nice to have fresh new blooms at this time of year:

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 1:25PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

OMG at 4 p.m. today I thought we were having a replay of the PARTAY incident of a couple of weeks ago.....Mister TCS (Three Carrot Sticks, I just can't get past that) and NDN (Next Door Neighbour) burst off the school bus waving papers and yelling "Oliver's party!! Yee Haw! Party!!! Party!!!!". My first word was "When?" and my mind was racing - I have a gift bag that says Happy Birthday (today is DD's birthday) and I have a card sort of, I don't have a gift right now....Then TCS says "It's O.K. Nana it's not until NEXT Friday." I think "Great!". then I realize: next Friday is OUR birthday party...Ours is supposed to be from 4 to 6:30 and Oliver's is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. I intend to call Oliver's Mom to say TCS will be there, and to call all of his invitees to cut our party short by a half hour so the two technically don't overlap...I feel pretty bad that we didn't invite Oliver, but I have NEVER HEARD HIS NAME!! I have no idea who this child is. Arggghhh.... life in a small town....

Today I ran all over town getting stuff ready for DD's bday and organising TCS's party only to have DD call to ask if she could change her visit and dinner to Sunday because....well she has lots of stuff going on, friends, house, guys etc. Anyway, the afternoon was quieter than I had thought it would be. Made Scotch Oatmeal Shortbread, Italian Herb bread in the bread machine, and turkey soup from the carcass. There sure wasn't much left of that big bird. Managed to use up all of the carrots from the garden and added rice and whatever to thicken it up. So hot soup and Italian bread for dinner...Mmmmmmm. Cutting carrots sticks for Adrian.

El Doggo got exercise again today - a record! I will bring in my laundry and veg in front of the tube tonight.

Kenzie is just adorable! She is so bright and pretty - what a doll.

A 67 year old furnace! Holey Moley I didn't know they even made oil funaces that long ago! Sue, you will feel rich this winter!!

Marie, deciding to eliminate a garden area because it is a pain is a hard decision to make, congratulations! DH is now getting ideas about hedges and stuff, and I am the one trying to keep the lid on things! I miss my big gardens but I know I can't manage any more than I have now - Shoot, I can't manage what I DO have now!! That was one reason I edged them all in brick - puts a limit on size.

Deanne, you sure do get around! Beautiful photos too! In fact, I am grateful to you all for inspiring me to finally start figuring out the photo thing...

Garden design course sounds wonderful.

Copper is gorgeous - and I can just imagine the paint thing...

And oh, how I hate Job Woes! Things are so uncertain in today's world.

JulieJobs - gotta get back to those. Those are the jobs that stare at you for a long time before you do them. What is just daily routine for me could be a JulieJob for you and vice versa. My next one: degumming all of the doors where the Phils grab the door instead of the handle...after that, the Spice drawer. Then the plastics drawer, you know the one, 47 lids and 3 containers...or 47 containers and three lids...

Happy Friday, all!



    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"A 67 year old furnace! Holey Moley I didn't know they even made oil funaces that long ago! Sue, you will feel rich this winter!!"

Yikes, someone talking about ME? OK, I'm 66, but somehow I'm feeling OLD these days. Too much life experience for one person...

I'm happy with the new NAG (Not A Garden)by the mailbox. All the plants were removed, all the narcissus and crocuses and daffs scattered in the area with grass seed on top. So when the bulbs finish blooming next spring, I'll simply mow the entire area. Sounds good to me! My version of Saucy's bulb garden assignment, minus the thoughts on a color scheme. Maybe I'll only get a C+ but I'm happy about it.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Sues TGIF appreciated as always, but my Friday is not till Tuesday ! I drove upvalley this afternoon to do an walkthrough of the store we are doing inventory in tomorrow and I was amazed by how much the fall colors have developed since just last weekend. I will take my camera with me tomorrow and Sunday and hope to get some photos to post .

Deanne , jealous here that you got to visit NYBG again- bet it was a lot cooler this go-round ! I wonder if they do a lot of seasonal switcheroos in the conservatory ? Bet they do up a nice Christmas display. The permanent crowns will be installed in approximately 3 weeks. After that there is one more section of my mouth that need work, but I will try to put that off till the 4th quarter of 09. Most of what I have had done is not covered by my dental ins, and even if it was I am maxed out very early in the year-the benefit is only 1500 and the work has been way more than that.

Saucy, your Tower Hill photos are just outstanding !

Ok need to sign off for now-the water hose bekons (again)

Where is PM ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good happy Friday evening! I've been doing Julie-like things since I got home from work, and am now stealing a few minutes before DS and fiance arrive for the weekend. They're picking up Chinese for our slightly late dinner. The iPod is cranking out some of my favorite tunes, and the only thing missing is a nice beverage.

My own personal Philistine is walking around the house blowing his duck call. Guess what he's doing in the morning?

Last night I hustled the last tender things to be saved into the garage. This morning at 6:25, I got the dogs' food from the garage, opened the overhead door and noted no frost on the car. At 6:40, I went out to the car to leave and it was covered in frost! Interesting to catch the window when the frost settled.

Very fall-ish weather here. Tomorrow, DS, DF and I go to check out a couple of possible reception sites. In between, we'll catch a local fall festival. In fact, Trudi Tempel's farm is one of the locations that will be open. I'm ging to post this quickly and go put my camera with my purse right now!!!


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just received this in an email and thought you might want to be reminded:

Your Amaryllis bulb will arrive ready to pot up. Plant in a tight-fitting pot (about 1" space between the bulb and pot) with the "shoulder" of the bulb above the soil, using a rich but well-drained commercial potting mix, free of tree bark or fresh manure. Water once, then not again for a week. Until the bud emerges, water very sparingly, keeping the soil barely moist. Once the bud emerges give the plant more water, but let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Use tepid -- not cold -- water. Grow the bulb at 20 -25 o C and fertilize every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer.

If you are not ready to pot when your bulb arrives, and as long as no bud is showing you can keep the bulb in the crisper of your refridgerator (but not in with food) or in any cool dark place between 5 - 10 o C. Never let the bulb freeze. If a bud is showing you must pot up the bulb right away, or the flower bud will be damaged and will not bloom properly.

Grow the bulb on outdoors for the summer in a semi-shade location giving it a liquid feeding of 20 - 20 - 20 every 2 weeks. Bring the pot inside about Labour Day, cut off the foliage, place the pot on its side and give it a rest period for 12 weeks in a cool dark spot at about 13 -16 o C. Then clean off the bulb carefully, repot it in new soil, and start it into growth again.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:52PM
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I'm up early today in preparation for a bit of a road trip to a masonry supply place about 35 miles north (it opens at 7 AM, my kind of hours!) that was recommended to me. I have to pass a locally reknowned doughnut place and will pick some up for the staff. I find going in early on a Saturday, bearing food items is a pretty quick way to establish a rapport and get good advice and suggestions. I am definitely my father's daughter.

I don't think we received frost last night (too dark to tell yet) but it's notably colder than it has been. Very interesting report from you, V., on the arrival of frost. Sounds as though you're going to have a fun day today.

Woody, last night I started the article on the financial crisis you linked about a week ago. I was called away for dinner and never finished it, this morning I have to purchase it to finish it. Bummer! But I meant to tell you that I agreed with everything you said in the last paragraph of that post. It's important to have at least a basic understanding of basic financial machinations which is why I've tried to pay attention and flesh out my own meagre foundation.

'bug, I'm glad you're pleased with the new mailbox area. Gardens are only fun when you enjoy working on them and in them. Good decision! And the posted advice on Amaryllis is very timely. I saw them for sale in the big Orange store, but walked by them because I was on a mission for skimcoating materials. Perhaps I'll loiter longer the next time I pass some. :) And I'm thinking of "resting" the few we have potted up and hauling them out later in the season for some added cheer.

Sue, the new furnace sounds great! At 67 yrs. old, it certainly doesn't "owe you anything". BIL had his electric baseboard changed in favor of an oil fired boiler and forced hot water in his home some years ago. He calculated it would require5-7 yrs. to pay for itself, but as oil increased sharply he's already recouped his investment in the conversion. GOOD MOVE! (added insulation to your attic, and sealed your windows yet?). Maine has been championing "energy audits" for people in older homes facing greatly increased utility costs. The audits are free and there is a cadre of volunteers who go to homes and help people (esp. the elderly) put in insulation, tighten windows and doors, etc.. I hope Zoe is OK, nothink is more worrisome than a pet who's "off their feed". The leaves are hitting the ground in wind-driven flurries here. Once the maples are finished the oaks will drop, so the delight of leaf collection goes on for several weeks on the Compound. Will you be jumping in the piles you rake up?

I smiled at your pictures of the NYBG, Deanne, thinking of what fun we all had there and how HOT it was. Remember Sue's sweaty backside after sitting in that vinyl wheelchair for the best part of the day? lol. Fun to see that lovely place later in the season.

I have no shortage of JulieJobs here. But I'm trying to focus on the gardens for the time being since the weather is not going to get nicer for some time to come and the piles of accumlated, outdated crap inside the house are not going anywhere and will be more tempting as the exterior temperatures drop. ;)

Time to mine the catbox, clean myself up, and get on my pony and head on out to the world of doughnuts and masonry supplies. Ta ta!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 6:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

It's another lovely fall day here. Last night was our official first frost. The dahlias will be toast the second the sun hits them. WE are expecting a hard FREEZE temps down to 28 on Monday morning so I've got to scramble and get the rest of the fuchsias and abutilons in today. Yikes!!! there are still way too many plants out there and two of the gigantinormous fuchsias are in humungous and HEAVY cement pots so they've got to be dug right out. Double Yikes!! Surprisingly the 'Mariposa' coleus in the hay rack on the back fence still looks OK. It must have been protected by the trees on that side. It won't survive 28 degrees though. LOL Sad to see it all go but it's time.

Chelone, glad you enjoyed the pics from NYBG. No kidding it was HOT in July. I don't ever remember voluntarily walking that far for that amount of time in 98 degree heat before. LOL Sunday was a balmy and perfect 73 degrees. Perfect. ~~~ LOl about bringing donuts to the masonry supply place. You clever girl you!

V. sounds like you're going to have a great day. I'd love to see some photos from Trudy Temple's gardens.

Kathy, You bet NYBG was cooler than July. I really wished I'd had time to see the conservatory. I'm going to have to get back down there in another few weeks. ~~ Doug has had to have a couple crowns and talk about breaking the bank. Like you he's having it done in stages to spread the cost over a couple years.

Bug, you've coined another Idyllism NAG 'Not a Garden'. LOL

Julie, this child party thing would make me crazy. You are a much more patient person than I.

Woody, your big Copper beast looks like Chewbaka.

Michelle, most of my plants are still in the garage so I'm not feeling the pinch yet but soon....

OKie dokie, in keeping with the 'Blaze of Color' theme here is a pic from yesterday of my birch tree....

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:30AM
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Funny, Chelone, I just delivered donuts and coffee to the fire department :) A house burned to the ground at 4 a.m. this morning (everyone was out), but they saved the rest of the neighborhood. Somehow all the firetrucks in town sucked gravel into their pumps (I'm not clear on the facts) and they're having to flush them no rest for the weary. They all looked tired.

Here's the part that makes the twilight zone theme go off in my head: Last weekend Sarah was invited to a party on the street that the fire was on last night....I say (to myself) while dropping her off that this would be a terrible place for a fire, because it's a new street (not listed on maps) and there are no hydrants up on the hill where the houses are, only down at the entrance.

I'm glad I mentioned all this to Nick so that it was fresh in his mind for the drive there last night.

The house next door (the foreclosed one) is getting lots of "action" today! There are 5 cars out front and a new real estate sign. It's on sale for $174 which finally sounds reasonable! The woman who was foreclosed upon bought the house for somewhere in the $350's if I recall....way over inflated. Is it any wonder she couldn't keep up? Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't miss that woman :)

Congrats on the new furnace, Sue!

I've told you all the amaryllis story, right? My grandmother gives me a paper sack full of bulbs and tells me to put them in the fridge....Nick looks at the "leftovers" in the bag and sends them out to the garbage! Funny, he never cleans the fridge out...but something about those bulbs really grossed him out!

I might try one this year.

I have some laundry going, but if I'm going to get as much done this weekend as I wanted (and I already see that my helper will be napping alot today) I'd better get moving. I am loving the leaves more time for getting things organized. Magic Lady saw me and SunnyD at the local Mexican restaurant - I couldn't help but think that she was thinking, "no wonder these ladies need magic...they're out talking when they should be cleaning..." LOL....I don't care, I can get used to it!

Talk at you later.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:42AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - check your e-mail; I scanned the article and sent it to you....

Deanne - Copper looks more like a pale orangatang (sp?) than Chewbacca - especially when she's laying on her back on the floor! I'll try to get a picture of that. Chewy, the Leonberger that died a month or so ago, was the real Chewbacca look-alike (Chewy is short for his name, which was Chewbacca...)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 10:42AM
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Well, in the immortal words of Zig-Ziglar, Im beat up from the feet up, , but we have conducted yet another fun-filled physical inventory and Im at home having one of my two favorite beers of the yeari.e. the beer after inventory, ( the other being the beer after a day on the floor of a trade show.) Tomorrow I go in for a few hours of post inv, reconciliation. Joy.

Chelone, my place of employment also opens at 7, but at 6:30 during summer. When your core customer is the building contractor or vineyard manager/landscape gal-guy , early hours are a must.
Speaking of vineyards, I took my camera with me today but it was pitch dark out on the way to work and this valley is loaded with tourists right now, so coming back there were too many cars etc for me to stop to get any pics. Hope to have better luck tomorrow.

Dont have much else to offer right now, I have to try to scare up some dinner items before the BoSox game, and I need to once again water the containers

Adios , for now

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A very unusual day for me today. I took a notion to empty out the lower part of the clothes closet in the spare bedroom, and rearrange the contents. It is where all my blankets, pillows, and comforters were,plus some hanging clothing,and underneath, a plastic storage box full of letters and cards(mostly my mothers, a cardboard box of more letters and cards,a large blue metal trunk full of saved seeds (from 1997 and older!),3 sacks full of old magazines, and a gob of 'cleaning rags'! The rags are now sacked up in two large black plastic sacks, for taking to a friend's manufacturing company where they need lots of cotton cleaning rags. All of the bedding was stacked on and around the spare bed. The magazines will probably go to a recycling center. After I emptied out the large trunk, I decided the nostalic clothing that was in the chest of drawers, along with some embroidered items, scarves, etc., should go into it, to protect them from the mice. It was too late for some items, but thankfully not for the most valued ones. There were some of Tim's baby clothes, and his boy scout shirt and scarf...some of my mother's outfits; some of my special dresses, and swimming suit, and an antique romper that I believe was that of the brother who drowned at 21 months old. (He was my mother's first child.) All that did not need washing are in the trunk. I washed three loads of stuff...mostly bedding and clothing.
Most of the blankets are refolded and back in the closet. Two of the comforters have been put on my and Nolon's beds. (The temps will probably climb back up into the 80s..LOL.)

I am sure none of the seeds are viable, but they will be thrown out on the old garden spot, and nature can take it's course with them . :-)

The hanging clothes will most likely go to either a thrift store, or the dump.

It feels good to have done all that, and I hope Monday I will start on some other closet. :-) Preferably the hall linen closet.

The boxes of cards and letters are back in the bottom of the closet. ( I wasn't even tempted to read any of them. ..(g) ).

Yesterday I raked and hauled off three more garden carts full of honey locust pods. That makes seven all together. There is another load or two on the ground, and lots more on the tree. It is an easy job, and I don't mind doing it.

I hope all are having a nice weekend.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 8:11PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

OMG Marian!!!! A JulieJob Supreme!!! Good for you!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Today I didn't do anything even remotely approaching a JulieJob, but it was a great day. We had a lovely clear blue sky October day, and the kids booked a spot for their reception. Ready for a photo tour?

Bug would appreciate that the banquet hall is actually a restored barn over 100 years old:

The back of the barn has a lovely patio with amazing views. If the weather next June cooperates, we'll enjoy this view with drinks and appetizers.

There's also a very nice four bedroom house right next to the barn, and they will rent the house for the night for the wedding party. So they'll all have a short walk instead of driving anywhere. And our home is barely five minutes away. I'm quite pleased that they picked this location. Photos have been emailed to her parents and they approve as well.

After a quick stop at Starbucks, we hit the Autumn Drive. Lots of fun browsing through antiques, crafts, art and other goodies. Our last, short stop was at Trudi Temple's farm. The restored barn was full of crafts, food and music. The floor was strewn with herbs - what a cool touch! Trudi was there but was busy talking with someone else. I only got a couple of photos, and not very good ones. It was rather tough to photograph as there were people, cars and booths everywhere. OK, a review of the photos tells me there is only one decent picture. This is her daughter's studio, with some newer plantings out front, including a rare and unusual bottle tree.

Why can I imagine someone saying, "does this bush make my butt look big?"

Obviously, it is well past bedtime for V...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Go Marian! you must feel like a million bucks after tackling that closet. There are plenty of places in this house that could use your help, too. Do you ever look at some of the things you had stashed away and ask yourself, "what in heaven's name was I saving that for?". Or find yourself wandering down Memory Lane when looking at a particular item? (I'm reknowned for doing that!).

And V. and family took care of business, too. I love the site, it will be perfect for the nuptial celebration. Should we begin sending out perfect weather vibes right now or shall we wait a bit on that? "Does this bush make my butt look big?'... lol.

Woody, thanks for the article, it was very sweet of you to scan it and send it along to me. I'm going to have to enlist BIL's help, since I'm not even sure our printer works, I have a dim recollection of some difficulty encountered by the helpmeet some time ago. (stop laughing). There have been several locally produced stories on the relative health of locally owned and managed banks, which is really very good. I have been particularly struck by repeated comments that the whole meltdown may very well prompt more of a return to "old fashioned" practices. For instance, actually requiring documentation and verification of employment and income for several years, and a down payment... what a concept! The story that really struck me though, was the young man who owned a piece of land and wanted to build a home on it. He was a self-employed tradesman in the community where he'd been born and raised. None of the banks owned by huge corporations in faraway places would consider loaning to him, considering him too risky. The local bank didn't hesitate to sell him a mortgage after looking at his plans and paperwork. BECAUSE he was "local" and employed in the community, because he owned land, and because they believe in loaning money in the community. And because the bank does not sell mortgages to other firms. It will be interesting to see how the whole thing settles out in time.

We missed the frost yesterday morning, but only just! On my way to the masonry place yesterday I noted frost in the next town north and there was a heavy coat of it on the fields along the west side of rte. 95. It remained chilly yesterday and there may be a kiss of it on the grounds this morning; it'll be fun to see what the sun reveals in a half hour, or so. I love the picture of the birch leaves, Deanne, Very pretty.

I arrived at the Masonry place at 7:15, thereabouts. Predictably, the guys behind the counter were sipping coffee and looked surprised to see me walk in. I greeted them and briefly explained what I wanted to accomplish with the block chimney, casually steering the conversation around to the apparent lack of doughnuts... wish you'd seen their faces when I produced the baker's dozen assortment made fresh that very morning. None of them wanted to have a doughnut in front of me, until I remarked that unlike wine doughnuts don't improve with age and as long as they didn't speak with a full mouth I thought they should begin eating. I was there for 30-45 minutes and they were so nice and so helpful, offering several tips. And some pretty funny stories of catastrophes.

I asked about prices for stone for the wall, too. It is a lot more money that I thought it would be; seems they've been really hit hard by fuel prices. Stone is sold by the ton and prices vary widely depending on the type of stone selected and how far it's been shipped. I showed them the plan and the fact that I had measurements and understood the wall needed to be nearly as wide as it will be high scored a couple of points. One guy suggested we take a stroll through the yard and look at stone. He asked me what sort of look I was trying to achieve with the wall and I said I wanted it to look like an old New England wall and wasn't bothered that my attempt at wall building might look "rustic" compared to a mason's. But that it had to be structurally sound. He suggested buying a couple of palettes of "easy" big stones (smooth faces and more uniform in size) and a palette/two of smaller ones to be fitted in between the larger ones as the courses progress. Lastly, he suggested buying the cap stones last of all. He was very helpful, remarking it wasn't very often a DIYer showed up at 7 AM, with a plan and measurements, let alone doughnuts. I'm still nervous about the wall but not quite so much. It was a beautiful morning and a lot of fun, too.

I broke the "no coookin'" part of my credo yesterday. We had nothing sweet in the house and I made tapioca pudding (I adore custards and puddings), increasing the sugar a bit and tossing in 1 oz. of unsweetened chocolate. I really liked the result, just sweet enough, but not overpoweringly so. I may try using almond extract next time and putting some toasted almonds over the whipped cream next time... . I also have to find the recipe for Indian Pudding I used to make. I love Indian Pudding, but always cut the amount of molasses because it can really overpower your tastebuds and, IMO, can ruin such a delicate pudding. Custard pie is probably my all time favorite.

I spent some quality time out in the Salon yesterday and layed out the footprint of the proposed raised hearth using chalk to mark the floor. I marked the size of the stove inside it and this morning the helpmeet and I are going to go out and look at it critically. I want to maximize available floorspace for larger projects, but I want the hearth to provide safety and a pleasing stage for a pretty stove.

The helpmeet went to BIL's last night to watch the Red Sox on the massive, "lonely guy" TV. Rex went with him, but was returned home shortly thereafter. Seems the sub-woofer on the surround sound system disturbs him... so he came home and watched Antiques Roadshow with Mummy and the kitties. I was in bed by 9 and drowsily asked about the outcome of the game when he returned home. Apparently, the Sox talent for maximizing drama is being exercised once more. Oh my!

Missing everyone's newsy posts these days. Just wanted to say that.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:22AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian - that sounds like it was a major Julie-job but it was probably a fun one. Going through old stuff with lots of warm nostalgic feelings attached is always good :-)

V - What a fabulous place for a wedding!

Chelone - you sound technology-deprived :-) If you get the article printed, when you're reading it keep in mind that it is written in a Canadian context. The point where that is most obvious is in the 'Don't demonize government deficits' comment. Canada has been running surpluses for the past 10 years or so, so there's more 'room' for us to run deficits for a few years if need be. The US situation is a bit more iffy given that the US has been running high deficits for a number of years. You're right that one good outcome of this financial upheaval is that there will likely be a return to tighter lending standards. Fortunately, in Canada we never went to the extreme low qualification standards as the US did. And, while the US housing meltdown has been devasiting for many, in the longer run it has the benefit of making houses more affordable again which sets the stage for another sustained rise in prices in the future (that's not much comfort for those who lose their houses now though...) Re local banks vs. large 'distant' ones - local knowledge is a good thing to have when evaluating credit decisions. In a large, national bank (as in the case of Canada's large banks) where people get transferred around to broaden experience, community involvement by staff is strongly encouraged, in part to increase their knowledge of local people and businesses. Good lending decisions are dependant on a number of factors and both local lenders and larger ones can both make good decisions; it's not possible to say one is always going to be better than the other.

We had a mellow evening last night with the dogs:

Copper has definitely moved beyond the rowdy puppy stage and is settling down to be a nice dog. I've even convinced her that she can let Misty wander around the backyard so Copper is no longer herding Misty to keep her confined to the patio!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Good Morning to Chelone and Woody, and anyone else in the virtual neighbothood ! I'm just having some sips of coffee while I wait for the sun to be up a bit for my photo stop on my way up the valley this morning. I am determined to get some 'blazing color' vinyard shots.It's still abit dark out at this moment.

Chelone, freight costs have indeed become an ever larger issue in my business too- we have started charging fuel surcharges to our customers for the first time in my memory..many of our vendors are doing likewise.

Ok, see y'all later off to work day seven..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Ok I got me some fall color !

Walnut trees and vinyards along Oak Knoll road at sun-up-one of Trefethens vinyards I think From napa valley fall 08 From napa valley fall 08

From napa valley fall 08

A bit further up the hiway the balloons were going up From napa valley fall 08

At BV later this morning
From napa valley fall 08

Pine Ridge From napa valley fall 08

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 3:25PM
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There's so much going on these days, describing it is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. Perhaps other absentee idyllers are reeling as well, as Julie so aptly put it.

But tonight I've finally got my hands on the movie 84 Charing Cross Road, which I will watch around 9-ish tonight, after I dispatch this movie writing dispute transcript (they litigate over who gets credit to Big Mama's House!). I finished a lengthy transcript this morning on an improper use of force/police dept matter I thought would never end. On the home front, Marty is on a four-night watch stretch. Mitch just got his VW bus engine rebuilt, but the new oil was so clean that he misread the dipstick, assumed it was low on oil, and added an extra quart. I love to watch Marty's face during these kinds of discussions. Mitch and I ask, scanning Marty's inscrutable poker face, Is this a bad thing? Marty: Well, it could blow the seals. So we all hustle off to the VW and measure the oil again, which is a quart high. Oil draining ensues. Duncan is very close to becoming a full-fledged docent volunteer at the local aquarium, attending "critter college" on Saturdays to learn the ropes. He'll donate one day a week, which fits his college schedule fine. The otters and puffins were especially frisky yesterday, he said.

Just a flyby to check in, enjoying the posts, the great Copper beast who Misty is knocking into shape, Kenzie and pumpkins, NYBG, fall color, the decanting of pots. I've been tipping a few pots on their sides to dry out over winter, tho lots of tropicals are still going strong. Drying winds have mercifully stopped and humidity is up a bit. My mom returns from Florida this week, when I'll have to tell her about the prized African violet she left in my care, whose crown slid off like a cheap toupee a few days ago. I hate houseplants!


    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 5:04PM
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How about some cheerful pig whimsy and community activism from across the pond? I think it was a bat conservation issue that first led me to The Two Tunnels project near Bath, England, but we've been following along with the great pig auction of King Bladud's pigs, to be auctioned off this Halloween in the "assembly rooms" of Bath (so Jane Austen, isn't it?) We have a friend in nearby Hampshire we were thinking of possibly shipping a pig to...Grimaldi is a favorite here, but the bid starts at 1200 pounds!

A nice idea for a fundraiser, apparently inspired by a similar project with storks in Germany.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Wondered only for a moment if King Bladud was any relation to King Vidor. I have duly read the tale of the bathing pigs.
I have watered yet again this afternoon, and am now actively wishing for just one day when I dont have to water a thing. I guess that will be Wednesday when I spend the entire day on I-5. Who knows what botanic devastation will await me upon my return. I noticed this afternoon to my surprise that 2 of my Daylilys are throwing up new scapes if we have no frost for a couple of weeks I should see some flowers

My work day was frustrated by a computer data debacle and of course the IT dept was no where to be found. At least I had a pleasant drive to and fro with my photo stops. We will rally the troops on Monday and see if we can get the issue solved. Tonight Ill have a light meal and observe as the BoSox possibly continue to rise from the ashes . I have yet to do a d**n thing to prepare for my trip to Oregon.

V, your venue looks like a beaut, complete with the water vista . I guess wedding planners in your part of the world have to come up with contingency rain plans ? That is not typically and issue here for us, though rain is not unheard of in June, its very unlikely.

Marian, I performed many similar JJs last winter when I was getting ready to sell (or not) this house. What a lot of junk I had ! This winter I am going to cull a bit more, the real estate market has pretty much stalled my progress for the moment. It will be fun if any of your old seeds come up-

Woody, Im sure Misty is relived to be free of the puppy tyranny of Coppers previous visits ! What a face that dog has..

Deanne, I loved your birch leaf pic-my birch has only just started to turn. I have swallowed my jealously of your visit to NYBG and am certain that you took more than 3 pics. Are we to expect another gallery anytime soon ???(hint-hint) .

bug, you did remind me that I had a thought to do a major Amarylis display for the hols this year. My plans are very unsettled though so I will proceed with caution and only buy bulbs if the employee discount is available ..

This is all for me at the moment- here is another photo from today. This seemed like an interesting juxtaposition , taken at Heitz Cellars , the palms and the Chinese Pistache in full fall color mode. You cant really make out the other plantings , but the are several citrus and dwarf pomegranates as well From napa valley fall 08

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:26PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Question of the weekend: If I am a so-called "empty nester", then why can I never use my washer or dryer on the weekends?

It's really a light-hearted complaint, as it's nice to have the kids around. But it's true that they always arrive with lots of laundry. It seems that it costs a lot more than one quarter to run a load of wash these days.

DS & DF also told us this weekend that they are thinking of moving to our town when their lease is up in the city next spring. DF would look for a new job, since the commute to her present job would be pretty tough. They're still very much in the talking phase, but it's nice to know the idea is on the table. I'll enjoy having them even closer.

I had a very hectic morning at church today, as I was a little over-committed due to my inability to say no. But afterwards, DSisterIL had us over to watch the Bears game (the guys watched and the girls talked) and have a light lunch. It was a nice, mellow way to spend the afternoon, although I came home with not one iota of ambition. So I picked up the Sunday Tribune to find out that they redesigned it a couple of weeks ago. The new format appears to be based on the premise that it is cheaper to print a really large graphic rather than a lot of pesky words. For those of us who actually like to READ, it is rather unsatisfying. I foresee a cancellation in my future...

Chelone & the rest of you out East, I'm pulling for the BoSox. I loved Chelone's gift of doughnuts! Well played, madam.

Time to gather things for tomorrow's return to the workaday world. Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 10:43PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

The week=ends pass so quickly!

Saturday I did some Juliejobs and DS took TCS swimming at the local indoor pool. Our police Association is encouraging young families to pass the time in constructive ways: they have paid for free swimming for two hours every Saturday, and free skating in the arena for two hours every Sunday. We intend to take advantage of that - these are great facilities for a small town, and I think it was a stroke of genius for the police to encourage their use.

TCS came home with a book to read this week - it is awful! It is a sort of comic with lots of scatological humour and mis-use and misspelling (on purpose) of words, and babyish parts of speech. As a result we had lots of "MaMa DaDa" talk this week-end and rude comments and jokes. I will be returning it in person and making my views clear on this. I assume that the intent is for kids to have fun reading, fine, but this kind of stuff is not literacy in my mind. I am such an old crank! But gee whiz....

Sunday we celebrated DD's birthday so once again I spent the entire day in the kitchen making the big celebratroy dinner - roast beef this time. The kitchen is still one of the safest places to be in this house - only two boards went in the Master bedroom floor this week. I have done my big threat thing: if it is not completed by the end of next week end I am hiring the local handyman to do it in one day. I have followed through on this threat before, and it really makes the Phils get a move on - they know I will do it. Sometimes I hate the role I play...

On this cheery note I will sign off for now. TCS has slept in and we have to hustle if he is to make it to school, on time!


Cheers, Julie

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

More on being a proud Momma...
Below is a One Laptop Per Child story, forwarded by DS.

DD & DSIL return from Peru & Bolivia in a week. We have heard from them twice so far.

DH is home from Antwerp and had a great meet-up with DS there. DS was enlisted by conference people to give talks to others in the Boston area by people who knew him back when he was a little tyke. We'll see if he can make time for that.

Annoying medical issues for me lately, but I'm OK. Just wish I could concentrate on other Idylls and the garden, rather than the emergency room and pharmacy.

Phoebe has begun to bark...unusual for her. Seems she is barking at invisible objects. She likes having DH at home again, but wants us in the same room ALWAYS. Hmmm. She did NOT want to go to bed last night either. Tough love is hard on me too. OH great, I now see she has chewed a bedspread I really liked....

Loved King Bladud's Pigs!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:50AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb -emergency room and pharmacy?! That sounds serious/scary - take care of yourself!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:58AM
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The Red Sox are to return to the home of the bean and the cod for a long winter's rest. At least they didn't completely roll over and die. It was a good series, the Rays were the better team and their good play earned them a trip to the World Series. It would be fun to see them go all the way, I think.

V. I suggest installing a meter on the washer and dryer. A nice way to supplement retirement income, yes? :) How long would DF's commute be if they moved to your town? If you think of it, do please remember me to your SILs, they were such good fun.

Kathy, your pictures have been great. I can only imagine the havoc computer "issues" could present for large inventories. Ewww... . When are you leaving for Oregon, I've forgotten.

Inspired by Marian, Julie, you two were front and centre in my thoughts yesterday as I undertook a very large JulieJob... cleaning out the area that in most kitchens is called the lower cabinets (we have only the framework for cabinets with plywood shelves and lazy susans, but no doors or drawers). I sorted the rarely used kitchen utensils that have been "stored" in a Mansfield plumbing supply carton for nigh on 17 yrs. now, saving the most used and washing those, setting the "culls" aside. I scrubbed the inside of the "cabinets". I threw out a ton of "saved" plastic bags, plastic food containers, assorted lids, and countless other things. We are nicely stocked up on toothpicks and bamboo skewers for shishkabobs, though! I have to do the two corner cabinets this morning... one is mostly the everyday pots, pyrex stuff but the other one is a black hole, matter enters and does not leave. I'll keep you posted. When the helpmeet came home yesterday he called out from the stairs, "I smell cleaning!".

We received our first frost last night. It's time and now I have to think about the possibility of bringing in some Geraniums for the winter...

I'm not sure I'd be really thrilled with the sort of book Three Carrot Sticks brought home, either, Julie. Clearly, I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to bathroom humor, but I do think it's important to foster reading skills with good stories, nice language, and vocabulary. I'm pretty "old-fashioned" in that respect, too. One of the things I dearly wish we had closer to the Compound is an indoor pool. I love to swim and haven't done much in years. It's great that you are taking advantage of such nice facilities, physical activity is so important for lifelong vigor and mental well-being. It's good to establish the "habit" early.

OK, time to face the Black Hole. Dum de dum-dum...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Good Monday morning!

V., what a beautiful site to celebrate the union :) A June wedding (And Kathy, I looked at all your pictures...they're so pretty. I love how the grapevines are all lined up so neatly. Yes, the palm and pistache look great together, but almost as if they don't belong :) You have mail from me....wanted to see if you want some vintage linen kitchen cloths.

I awoke to find the garden painted silver as far as I could see! Pretty, but leaving a path of mushy destruction. Nick tried to point out that the spring would not be nearly so exciting without the kiss of death that I'm witnessing out the window....I told him to wait until the coffee kicked in to start waxing philosophical on me....he's been reading too much tao lately. I'm going to hide his stack of books if he's not careful.

Denise, Duncan's weekends sound very interesting! You sound very busy and it sounds like work is a drag (you know there is a Big Mamma's House 2, right?).

Nice to see a driveby from Sue! Hope you had a good weekend with your mom.

Marian, you've inspired me to clean out my closet. I spent alot of time this weekend rearranging things in the kitchen and setting aside items I don't need for donation. I found a couple of things that I didn't know I had and that made me of them was a putty knife, which spurred me to fill some holes in the bathroom, LOL!

Hmm...maybe I'll sand and paint them today!

Chelone, Nick said he'd like to try a rock wall when I told him about your donut story! Who knew?

I've been working really hard at my purple/orange long border assignment. I think I am liking the idea. You know, a plan might have been the kick I need to get started! I feel like I've been stagnant in the garden for a while. It will be nice to have these plans on paper for future implementation.

Hey, it happened again last night: Someone in class shared a magazine with me, and I was laying in bed with my nose buried in it when I realized that the garden looked familiar! It was Inta's! She did an article in FG on shade gardening with very moist conditions (made me think of Chelone...). I think the article was a special addition Shade Garden Design around Feb 08. If anyone is really interested, I'll look to see.

Well, I'd better go. Sarah's home sick today, so I've got to rearrange what I had planned and see what still works.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 9:15AM
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My niece, Eleanor Anne, was born October 15, 7:25 p.m., 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Here she is in the arms of her big sister, Katie (who looks kinda thrilled, wouldn't you say?)

Welcome, Ellie

Love, your Aunt Denise

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ellie and Katie...How sweet! Love Ellie's hair...and Mom's nightie is sweet too. Good news is so nice...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 12:46PM
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Nothing got done in the garden this weekend despite the long list I had planned. Sat. a.m. we got a call that there were 4 cars that came in. One was just what I wanted so we drove to the cities to get it. We met up with DHs DS & DIL and went out for dinner. Much of Sunday was spent trying to figure out how to work the darn thing LOL Thats what happens when you drive the same car for 11 years. My current car has 312,000 miles on it and going strong. We will keep it for DHs running errands car. It gets nearly 50 mpg so we actually have 4-5 people that have been asking to buy it.

We had a lovely drive up as the road follows a river for some distance so you have the wooded bluffs on one side of the road which shows off the falls colors beautifully.

Denise, how sweet the baby looks and big sister looks pretty pleased.

Saucy, is the long border to be all purple and orange? What plants do you have in mind?

Ive been inspired as well to do some fall decluttering. First is my desk, since the computer came back I decided it was time to rethink the desk setup and organization for a cleaner and neater appearance. It does feel good to get things in order.

bug, I hope the medical annoyances arent serious.

Julie, the family activity program sounds like a good idea. A new indoor pool opened this summer and Im thinking of joining for some winter exercise. I drive right by it on my way home from work.

Kathy, that Chinese Pistache is an awesome color. I really enjoyed all your pictures.

V, the barn and pond view look like a great reception site.

Deanne, love the birch photo.

I made a quick noon hour trip to my sister-in-laws place to peruse some items that DH picked out for me at his uncles place and she took back for me. An old headboard that could be used in the garden, a fan for my garden shed and some of the green garden stakes. This is the single uncle that recently went to the nursing home.

Time to get back to work.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 2:26PM
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I have been cleaning all day long. I knew the last two "cabinets" (the corner ones) were going to be the worst. Accumulated crap has been tossed out. Useful items that are no longer wanted are going to be set out across the road with a prominent "Free!" sign. If it's nice next Saturday all will vanish quickly, it always has historically. :) I scrubbed the counters, the sink, and consolidated the electrified items, putting less used ones under the counter. Smells like a veterinary clinic right now, but it looks great. Inspired by some of the long lost useful baking tools I scared up a recipe and there is some bread pudding in the oven as I type.

I hope Sarah is feeling better. And I like the image of "silver paint" and the purple and orange color scheme. It's going to be really pretty!

That baby looks pretty fresh, Denise. It's always so sweet to see brothers and sisters excited about the new family member. (My big brother always doted on me).

I hope we all get a look at your new ride, Michelle. Will you customizing it with some of those stick on bullet holes? 312K miles is a long way and I'd say you definitely got your money's worth out of the last one. It will be fun to see what you opt to do with the bounty from Uncle's place. You always have such fun ideas.

Things are sort of slow with the 'puter today and I wasn't able to coax the link you posted, 'bug. I'll try later. It will be fun to hear of adventures in Peru and Bolivia, mostly though, I hope they have had good, quiet, reflective time together. They have much that will be poignant and very exciting ahead of them and they need the time to just regain their balance. Funny how Phoebe has fallen to her herding instinct at a time when she senses there is a "disturbance in the force". I hope you've administered a proper beating for the bedspread transgression... ;)

Fibreglass resin fumes hang heavy in the air this afternoon. I suspect this is where the deck project is going to end for 2008. (hehehe)

OK, I guess that's it for me right now. I'm tired, in need of a nice warm shower, and we'll be having meatloaf burgers tonight, followed by warm bread pudding. Later!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 5:38PM
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Reading links....reposting GB's....

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 6:07PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

If you're out there..

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:39PM
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Reporting that I did not, repeat did not have to water today.. It was much cooler today than forecast, and we will get into the very low 40s tonight. Its getting to be that time of year when leaving all the doors and windows open all evening is no longer producing a comfortable indoor climate.

Welcome to Ms Eleanor Annmay you reside in the garden of your choice ..

I am about three bricks short of a load tonight on 8 days in a row with 2 more to go at work (Chelone. I leave on Thursday) and Im gong to try to get a bit of extra sleep tonightI have to start packing in earnest tomorrow. mail has arrived thus far ?

Nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 9:19PM
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    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's been one of those up and down evenings here. I had a meeting canceled early this evening, so a big chunk of my time freed up. But then, just as it was getting dark, it really got dark - the power went out. So the "found" time was lost again as we fumbled in the dark for candles. Ah well, the candle light was a nice change.

Denise, what a darling photo of Ellie & Katie.

The phone keeps ringing, so this post is not going to be much longer. Just need to add one more thing.

Happy Birthday, Cynthia!


    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

May your cup run over....That doesn't sound right does it Cynthia! Happy Birthday! Yes, that's better.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:07PM
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Happy Birthday Cynthia !!!!

8ryaQ"> From Garden Sept 08

We Miss You !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Wouldya look at those lounge chairs with the comfy teal cushions! The pots look lush and high-summerish. I hope Zoe is back to her old self.

Indeed, that is a "fresh" baby, hours old. This is my brother's second wife, whom I'm not very close to yet, seeing as the first wife was Marty's sister. The years pass, Katie is nearing kindergarten while I dither over the situation. So posting the picture is part of my resolve to somehow become a part, no matter how small, of these kids' lives.

Amazing how the idyll info is laid down bit by bit in sedimentary layers. If I'm reading right, Chelone & helpmeet built their house...gosh, hat's off. Marty and I were just discussing the need to start a new to-do list, since the old one is dusty from neglect -- I mean blurred from sweat from diligent hard work and ticking off items. Yeah, that's it! And I magnanimously offered to put rehabbing his little wooden sailboat at the top of the list, which he one-upped me by magnanimously declining, instead dutifully opting to replace sashes on the sunroom window(aren't these spousal games fun?) I bought 4 dwarf olives 'Little Ollie' for the front garden to run along the fence on the east side. They'll top off around 6 feet and look good with or w/o pruning. I'll have to remove a mammoth 'Madonna' sambucus which admirably soldiers on but would really prefer moister conditions. Then a load of gravel should finish off the area, topping off the old gravel in place with fresh too. I'm going to play around with more summer-dry bulbs in this area, like nerines. It's funny how looking at everyone's marvelous perennial borders has forced me to refocus on what my little patch is best suited for, so I'm heading more xeric. I hear you completely on the watering chores, Kathy. The one big change I'm seriously contemplating is turning the back garden into a potager. Michelle's & Julie's, Marties & 'bug's veg garden photos are so inspiring. The existing pathways would work fine, but I'd just need to clear out the ornamentals. Maybe, maybe not. But then I'd probably have to cook more, right? ;)

Michelle, don't be coy, what'd you get? Is that your old Jetta that gets 50 mpg? My 6 yr old Mini gets about 45 on the freeway, high 30s around town, and I was thrilled to get that mpg. It's closing in on 70,000 mi, but holy mole, that's nowhere near your 300,000 miles!

V, looks like the wedding plans are shaping up wonderfully. You must lay in an astonishing stock of candles, the number of blackouts you get.

I checked in with the groomer today, and he says the kittens are doing fine, that he's already found homes for them when they're old enough.

Saucy, everybody here sounds so busy. I know I feel way too speeded up, even tho I've been trying to cut back on the number of jobs I take. And thanks for redoing 'bug's link. That's an inspiring article. Hope Sarah feels better. The bees must be tucked in tight for winter by now, no?

I've promised myself a thorough house cleaning, top to bottom, after the election...

Still on the subject of potagers, and since Marian expressed interest on Michelle's thread, here's a photo (not mine, tho I was lucky enough to visit) of a small part of Rosemary Verey's potager at Barnsley House, which she based on the mother of them all, Villandry:

Happy birthday, Cynthia!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:35PM
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I see my meagre supply of pictures is to be tapped once more. I send this reasonably recent shot of the Sanitary Ridge planting after it's clean up:

Along with my fond wishes for continued vim, vigor, and interest. May your next birthday be even better than this one, Cynthia! (miss your sense of humor, BTW).

The helpmeet has expressed profound admiration for the tenacity with which I tackled the kitchen. All that is to be offered to some lucky passerby next weekend is consolidated to a few boxes that will, one by one, be relocated to the garage (stageing area). I have every confidence he will begin scavanging them shortly thereafter. What I have not told him (but he probably suspects) is tht I'm actually making room for some items from THTTF. Spousal games, indeed, Denise.

Cold, chilly rain is due to blow in today and tomorrow. Helpmeet has promised to square the kindling situation away so we may begin using the house stove tonight/tomorrow. Rex and the cats will be very happy about that.

My late (step) MIL gave me a wonderful book many, many years ago, "The Postage Stamp Garden" (I think). It's about intensive gardening, where the plants are planted right next to each other in double-dug soil. The idea being that the roots have plenty of room to grow and the canopy of leaves eventually shades out weeds and prevents the soil from drying out. It's a very interesting approach to vegetable gardening and is perfectly suited to small potagers. Having a ready supply of fresh produce is a very nice thing, indeed.

I have a couple of big awning blanks to lay out this morning. I'm increasingly bothered by the level of clutter and outright accumulated filth that follows in the wake of disorganization (failure to clean up after one's self). It can really suck the motivation out of me in pretty short order. Perhaps that's why I've been diligently picking away on the mountain of JulieJobs that await me here; it's easier to tolerate chaos when you have somewhere peaceful to return at the end of a day.

Hang in there, Kathy! Thursday is coming.

And warm thoughts to Brenda, who's funny take on things always makes me chuckle.

How about a smoke signal from some of the restayas, too?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 5:34AM
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Good morning

A smoke signal from me Chelone - all's well here, just immersed to the eyeballs trying to finish up my last paid garden job and keep head above water with everything else.

Happy Birthday Cynthia!!

And hugs to those in need. Thinking of you all.

(who hopes to be back very soon to Idyll)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 7:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(Pardon the typo...)

And hugs and warm thoughts to those who need them from here too...

Welcome to the world Ellie!

Copper went home yesterday - Misty is moping a bit today. She misses her big buddies when they leave. At this point our next 'booking' is Blue in January for a month. It looks like Jasper will likely be making that final trip to the vet in the near future as his tumors are starting to grow through the skin. So Blue will be on his own the next time. I'm sure he will be sad and lonely once Jasper dies, because they've been good buddies for all of Blue's life.

Very cool here this morning. Winter's coming - ugh!

Yesterday I felt inclined to cook a fair bit so I made French onion quiche and lemon merengue pie so we had a very tasty supper - and will likely be having the same again tonight!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 7:49AM
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From Idyll Birthdays!

Happy Birthday Cynthia!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 8:11AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:07AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning - smoke signals from me as well. Things are going OK here, except that the first cold of the season is making the rounds at my house. DD claims that if she didn't have to go to school she wouldn't be bringing these germs home to the rest of us.

Deanne, I love the NYBG pics - I'd love to see that place in every season. I'll bet spring is pretty spectacular there. Must have been nice to stroll around and be cool and comfortable.

I finished taking my tender stuff in (except for the cannas). The big brugs are still out there, and still living - loaded with buds. I took cuttings of them this year, and I'm going to let the big plants go. So sad to take it all apart.

Cynthia, happy birthday to you. We do miss your wit around here. Stop by when you can.

Must run, waving hi to all!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:30AM
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Hi Wendy and Mary! Wondering where PM got off to...

Denise, I love the beaming smile on big sister's face! Jake was 4 when Sarah came along - he was just as happy. About 6 weeks into "it" he stated that she could go back now. I think you're making a giant step in the right direction. It must've been a tough situation, but new babies make transitions a little easier to swallow :)

Kathy, I just have 4 linen kitchen towels with the tags still on them, deep pastel shades. I seem to recall that you like vintage. If you're interested, send me your addy for shipping...they're free for the taking. I totally understand if you're not taking in anymore things ('cause I know you're not taking any more plants!) :)

I wish Deanne were here to give me pointers on what to do with my containers. I'm just going to do what I think is right and then live with the results next May :)

Michelle, I laid out my long border on paper last night. Yes, only purple/orange. I don't know why. I think it was a theme that I saw several times over this summer's travels that I really liked. At first I had trouble with finding enough orange to contrast the purples, but I think I've done it. Here's some of the plants (I'm trying to do the border through the summer season, early, mid, late):

Early Summer:
Euphorbia Griffithii 'fireglow'
Achellia 'fireland' planted with drumstick allium
Campanula Poscharskyana 'blue waterfall'
Siberian Iris in dark purple
Papaver 'salmon glow'
Delphinium 'king arthur'
Salvia 'may night'
Baptisia australis

I plan on being generous with the poppies for the early summer.

Turns out that I've got to get out of here, so Summer purple/orange will have to wait until the next installment. I have been meaning to ask GB about Clematis Tangutica 'my angel' - this thing sounds very it invasive? I have it on the plan for some orange height :)


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:07PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello everybody!

First of all, Happy Birthday, Cynthia! I am "new" here so I hope to make your acquaintance soon!

'Bug, are you o.k.?? I know you had some medical issues last week and I haven't seen much of you for the last few days...

Wow, Saucy, orange and purple. I can hardly wait to see it in it's glory next year....I bet it will be vividly gorgeous!

Chelone, keep hitting those JulieJobs - it is amazing how much gets done if only a teensy chore is tackled each day. But it seems many of you are tackling great big JJobs. I leave the biggies for after Christmas, so they stay done until the next garden season is over! *LOL*

May I ask what a 'Sanitary Ridge" is? Is it something gross?

And I sure was thinking of Deanne's SWAT story yesterday: first two cop cars, then three, then four, then the OPP Forensics unit, then a hearse. Just around the corner. (Seriously, I am not making this up!). Called DD who is a dispatcher for the OPP and she told me that the Forensics only go out when there is something fishy, and that she would not be able to find out what (read: "I'm not telling you, Mom"). Not allowed, I'm sure.

I truly feel like I'm living in the frozen north today. Dark, dismal, dreary, with wet and slightly thick stuff falling out of the sky. DS is not at the golf course today (no kidding!) so my floor better get done! I got up this morning at 5:30 to hem the insulated splash pants I want TCS to wear today. Hauled the sewing stuff up from the office to the kitchen as the sewing centre is now covered with Lego. Set everything up, trimmed the pants, pinned the hem, sat down to sew....needle was too blunt or the wrong size for the tightly woven fabric, but whatever, wouldn't sew. tried for half an hour for a five minute job, at 6 a.m. Grrrrrr! Finally at 6:30 I gave it up, and decided to use the old standby repair material, duct tape. Went out into the freezing garage in my jammies and bare feet to the tape cupboard, everything under the sun in there except duct tape. Aha! The tool box in the living room (I hate renovations!) with the pile of bamboo. Nope. Oh yes, the half a bedroom with DH and the dog still sleeping - in the cardboard box in the closet - yup, duct tape. Folded up the hems, taped them securely, good to go. Looked fine. The pants aren't worth the hour and a half, but TCS is, so I guess it all evens out!

Out in the sleet this morning, I emptied the last six geranium containers, took in the fountains and birdbaths, and picked up the remaining mouse heads and organs left on the deck by the cat.

That's it for today. Going to sit down with a book and a cuppa for the rest of the day - though I might find a little JulieJob to just take the edge off...

Till tomorrow,



    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Smoke signals from OKC but I didn't inhale. LOL
I'm too busy to read right now. Freezes are fast approaching and I'm not ready. DH is working a lot of overtime so all the other jobs are falling on me or getting ignored by me!

'Wierd' medical things here too and no one is able to do a thing but treat symptoms. Not acceptable so I've taken charge and I am recreating my life. It's an interesting ride.

Hugs to all those who need them right now. :)

Back to the salt mines...


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 4:10PM
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Julie, Sanitary Ridge is the name the helpmeet gave our raised septic system. It was a toss up between that or "Greywater Hill" (you know, "I found my thrill on Greywater Hill", it's where we were married). Sanitary Ridge won out because it sounded more in keeping with the American Civil War, of which helpmeet is quite an historian.

If you look carefully at the pictures where it's mentioned you will see a retaining wall made of railroad ties. It runs around two sides of the leach field and we levelled the lawn area atop it. When the leach field must be replaced the equipment can come in the back way (The Bat Cave Entrance) and do the work. We did the retaining wall ourselves (no fat lady's dream) and all the subsequent work of digging, filling, levelling, planting, etc.. In a perfect world with unlimited funding we'd prefer a graceful stone retaining wall, but RR ties have done the trick so far. Nice work on the pants, BTW.

Our home made campaign sign is installed by the road. The woodstove has been officially fired up for the '08-'09 heating season, and we're going to have a nice, hot early dinner. It's clouded up and getting chillier and more raw with every passing hour. One cat is full and has retired to the puffy box bed, and the other two are still outdoors, but I don't expect them to tarry too long this afternoon, esp. once the rain begins. I think it's time to put on my "loungewear", come to think of it!

Thinking about germs, colds, emergency rooms, and pharmacies has reminded me to ask Kathy and/or V. about the book they recommended to me on the Black Plague. A title, please?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 4:58PM
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Wouldya look at those lounge chairs with the comfy teal cushions! The pots look lush and high-summerish. I hope Zoe is back to her old self.

Indeed, that is a "fresh" baby, hours old. This is my brother's second wife, whom I'm not very close to yet, seeing as the first wife was Marty's sister. The years pass, Katie is nearing kindergarten while I dither over the situation. So posting the picture is part of my resolve to somehow become a part, no matter how small, of these kids' lives.

Amazing how the idyll info is laid down bit by bit in sedimentary layers. If I'm reading right, Chelone & helpmeet built their house...gosh, hat's off. Marty and I were just discussing the need to start a new to-do list, since the old one is dusty from neglect -- I mean blurred from sweat from diligent hard work and ticking off items. Yeah, that's it! And I magnanimously offered to put rehabbing his little wooden sailboat at the top of the list, which he one-upped me by magnanimously declining, instead dutifully opting to replace sashes on the sunroom window(aren't these spousal games fun?) I bought 4 dwarf olives 'Little Ollie' for the front garden to run along the fence on the east side. They'll top off around 6 feet and look good with or w/o pruning. I'll have to remove a mammoth 'Madonna' sambucus which admirably soldiers on but would really prefer moister conditions. Then a load of gravel should finish off the area, topping off the old gravel in place with fresh too. I'm going to play around with more summer-dry bulbs in this area, like nerines. It's funny how looking at everyone's marvelous perennial borders has forced me to refocus on what my little patch is best suited for, so I'm heading more xeric. I hear you completely on the watering chores, Kathy. The one big change I'm seriously contemplating is turning the back garden into a potager. Michelle's & Julie's, Marties & 'bug's veg garden photos are so inspiring. The existing pathways would work fine, but I'd just need to clear out the ornamentals. Maybe, maybe not. But then I'd probably have to cook more, right? ;)

Michelle, don't be coy, what'd you get? Is that your old Jetta that gets 50 mpg? My 6 yr old Mini gets about 45 on the freeway, high 30s around town, and I was thrilled to get that mpg. It's closing in on 70,000 mi, but holy mole, that's nowhere near your 300,000 miles!

V, looks like the wedding plans are shaping up wonderfully. You must lay in an astonishing stock of candles, the number of blackouts you get.

I checked in with the groomer today, and he says the kittens are doing fine, that he's already found homes for them when they're old enough.

Saucy, everybody here sounds so busy. I know I feel way too speeded up, even tho I've been trying to cut back on the number of jobs I take. And thanks for redoing 'bug's link. That's an inspiring article. Hope Sarah feels better. The bees must be tucked in tight for winter by now, no?

I've promised myself a thorough house cleaning, top to bottom, after the election...

Still on the subject of potagers, and since Marian expressed interest on Michelle's thread, here's a photo (not mine, tho I was lucky enough to visit) of a small part of Rosemary Verey's potager at Barnsley House, which she based on the mother of them all, Villandry:

Happy birthday, Cynthia!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 8:08PM
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(sorry 'bout that. Just got in and refreshed the screen and it resent the a.m.'s post again)

Saucy, I was researching yarrows, and a 'Walther Funcke,' burnt orangey-red kept coming up as one of the best in this color range, no flopping, etc.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 8:22PM
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Tomorrow, Friday arrives for me at last ! I actually did some quasi-prep tonight, and will pack my suitcase when I go up to bed. Extra batteries and memory card for the camera are already packed !

Jerri, I was glad to see your post and hope all issues , weird or otherwise move towards resolution. You ignore freezes and I am ignoring watering.

Hi Wendy ! Waving back at ya .

Julie, I LOLd at your discreet inquiry into Sanitary Ridge..not to mention the duct tape sewing job. That sounds like something I would do, since at some point in the last 10 years or so I lost total patience for all sewing jobs and vowed never again.I have decided to approach anything requiring sewing as though I was a guy , and therefore totally helpless and incompetent in this field. It has worked great. Hem comes undone ? What would a guy do ? 1. Have his wife or female sob fix it..not an option. 2.Take it to the drycleaners and have them fix it ..Bingo !

Saucy, I do love vintage linens and what harm could a few kitchen towels be ??? Addy on its way, and I will owe you seeds , cuttings or divisions in return . Gonna throw a little chartreuse into the orange /purple as an accent ?

Chelone,The Great Mortality by John Kelly. Highly recommended.

A big wave to all, need to go perform a few pre-trip functions..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Sending my smoke signals...Sorry I've got so behind. Things are just crazy busy here and I haven't had time to even read as much as I would like...let alone write. But wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you all...

Best wishes for a Happy Birthday Cynthia...I hope you spent it doing the things that bring you pleasure...

Denise...that has to be one of the sweetest pictures ever! :-) The glee on Katie's face says it all. I've got a feeling that Ellie is going to be as lucky as I have been...blessed with a big sister with big arms, big smiles and big love...Congratulations to the family!!!

Hate to say it, but I have to run...I have an early start at work tomorrow...the big bulb order is being delivered!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:36PM
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We miss you too Eileen !!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:41PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Cynthia!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 7:48AM
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Wow, Wendy! What a happy picture on such a dreary day :) Even though it's cloudy and cool, the humidity is up and it feels better than it could.

Kathy, I seriously considered adding chartreuse to the mix, but I'm going to stick with two colors. I wonder if it will be odd? I can always add colors to the mix. Listen to me talking as if I'm going to implement this plan. Only the last assignment has to be a "real" assignment. I've been using my yard as inspiration, because I can see and measure the garden....

Denise, I appreciate the info on Walther Funcke! Perfect! I added it to the plan last evening.

Hi Ei! Nice smoke signals!

Well, I'd better go and finish folding the laundry. Today is Magic Day and I like coming home to a fresh stack of towels in the bath :) Too bad by the time I get home from my design class, the magic is lost.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 8:12AM
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So where the heck is everyone ?? I just stopped in to wave goodby but the wave-ees are nowhere to be found .
I'm feverishly watering, why I don't know, everything will be at deaths door when I get home on Monday. It is so, so dry out. And hot.
Taking my lap-top so I hope to check in from the road...

Nite-all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Can't you see my hankie, Kathy? I'm waving, even if no one else is. ;) Have a wonderful trip, you've definitely earned the time off... it was 8 straight days in the salt-mines, right? I reserved "The Great Mortality" on-line yesterday afternoon, thanks for the title. I'm still struggling with "The Other Boleyn Girl", lol.

I managed a quick peek at the the wonderful quilts yesterday before being pulled away to attend to things more mundane. What a wonderful exhibition, 'bug. I'll be interested to look more closely at the galleries when I get home this afternoon.

It was also lovely to see smoke signals (good one, Ei!) from some of the absentees. I always figure there is a lot going on in people's lives when they submerge for awhile, and I always hope it's fun and exciting stuff. Even when it's not. :( I love the picture you posted, Wendy.

I finished up two huge canopies yesterday, they go up on Friday. Today I have to replace an oil soiled panel in another big one. Best of all, it was the result of being dragged through an oily puddle (duh) and it's conveniently the 4th. in a 7 panel awning. Another biggie. That one is to go up this morning.

Very cold and very raw yesterday. The halcyon days of peak foliage are now on the way out. Note to self: round up the wool pea cap and another pair of gloves. Brrr.

Another orange for Saucy: "Maltese Cross", Lychnis chalcedonia. We had one here that petered out for lack of sun, but the color was sensational, very orange to my eye.

OK, gotta get to that grungey old awning. Toodles.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 5:26AM
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Good morning

Another quick smoke signal from me as I have a few minutes before leaving for work. We had snow Tuesday night - not a lot, but there were white patches on my drive in to work yesterday morning. I'm certainly not ready for it:0( Our lovely, massive, pin-oak in the front garden has started dropping its gazillion leaves so I have another item to add to my "to do" list I was seriously contemplating buying an attachment for our lawn tractor with some of my gardnening money to sweep up the leaves, but decided a nice arm chair for the living room would give much more enjoyment. Anyone want to come rake? It's actually something I enjoy on a brisk, sunny day if I'm not feeling pressured, but in miserable weather under a time line it's less than fun. Oh well. I think it calls for a family effort.

On things I look forward to, tonight is book club. We read "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith, who also wrote the children's book 101 Dalmations. To my delight, no one needs a ride anywhere this evening so I can simply eat dinner, check on homework and take off. Yippee!! Talking of taking off, DH left first thing Monday for 2 weeks. He's been under an enormous workload and left with a lot on his mind. At suppper that night David suddenly stopped eating and asked if Dad was still in his office and why he wasn't joining us. I guess I should have DH put "say good bye to kids" onto his "to do" list. Sometimes the travel is fine, sometimes just darn hard.

GB - those quilts look magnificent and I can't wait to study them in detail, perhaps this weekend. Do we have other quilters here? I know T has done some.

Well, I need to hit the road.

A big wave from me to one and all. Have a great day!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 7:53AM
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Ooops - one thing I meant to share. Yesterday I made the apple cake on the link below and it has to be one of the best cakes ever, even made with gluten-free flours and without the sauce. We all kept getting up for exra servings till I hid it. The combination of fresh apple and dried apple slices make it chewy and moist. The brandy doesn't hurt either. Perfect for a cold, rainy evening.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 8:03AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Mmmm, thanks for recipe Mary. I think I'll make this soon. Of course Sr.Phil and Jr. Phil won't touch it. Inter Phil will try it but will likely have a stroke over the raisins. Could it be made without them? I'll think I make it as is first and then I'll have it all to myself, teehee! And what does macerate mean?

Wow Wendy, I loved the shot of the cannas. Do I glimpse a pool there? and the little house! Is it your home or is it a garden/pool shed? Just lovely. I hope to have some large cannas in the front where the huge Hostiles (Hostas) were.

Oh, sorry, Bye Bye Kathy, write if you get work! Oh, wait, that's not the right thing to say is it (grin)?

Saucy, are you trying to tell me that the orange/purple border is only a PLAN!!!! Aw c'mon, do it, do it!

Denise, the raised veggetable/potagers are just the greatest! Few weeds get in there, and the ratty little fencing keeps out the nibblers. Also, they are higher so you don't have to bend down too far to get stuff. I had the exact same ones at my old house and we set up these ones the first month after we moved here. I will try to attach an older photo - ha- I am going to post this so I don't lose it like I did last time I tried to add a photo. I'll post photos separately.

Yesterday's JJob was the spice drawer. I had stuff I bought in the last century (Haha, literally)! I tossed a lot of old stuff and organized the bottles and all that stuff. Now I have a pretty rack of spices on the counter and a drawer of less than attractive containers, and an empty space in a cupboard where I had more spicy junk. Big gumption trap for me - I hate yanking everything out and sorting and cleaning it up and putting it back. One more thing out of the way.

Today I hope to clean and store the birdbaths and do the final stuff for TCS's party. He is just wired: his Bday party from 4 to 6, and then a Hallowe'en party from 6 to 8. I am not looking forward to his attitude on Saturday - sugar, excitement, and lack of sleep add up to one very difficult Jr. Phil!!

I LOVE the quilts. 'bug. I used to do a lot of quilting - still have two unfinished ones hanging around, had them for at least ten years. One of them was done to match a stencil pattern I used in our old house. We were there 27 years, and we've been here 3 and I still haven't finished putting it together! Another huge JJob perhaps? I love quilt shows! Some of the work is just so intricate and amazing! Thanks!!!!

So off I go into picture-land.



    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 9:59AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

So here are the opriginal raised beds here at this house. Where the little shrub is, there is now a narrow bed with a large trellis. I have four clematis' on the trellis and herbs at their base.

They look a little ugly in this photo. If I come across a better one, I will show it too. Maybe on a different thread so I don;t overload this!



    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 10:10AM
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It is oh so dreary here. Weve had several inches of rain and there is water standing in the fields DH is not pleased.

It seems like the Idylls are all busy, busy, busy these days.

Once again the birthday pics are varied and spectacular!

Where is PM2 these days?

Kathy, enjoy your trip and have fun with Mr. Baby.

Chelone, my DH would love it if I made bread pudding. Ive never tried it maybe its time.

Denise, your Mini gets terrific mileage. I actually have a Passat that gets 47-50 average. The new car is the Jetta Clean Diesel. I don't think it will get quite as good but close. We do very little city driving. I love the potager pic you posted.

No look at the new wheels until the rains subside. I havent even driven it to work we are keeping the old car and getting rid of the premium gas guzzling Cadillac.

The "bounty" from uncles place was a fan that will cool my shed nicely, an old brass headboard and the garden stakes.

Saucy, your orange/purple border sounds great. I meant to ask you if you would like some cardoon seeds? Let me know. Anyone else want some?


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, how do you make bread pudding? My mom made it, but I do not know her 'recipe', and any that I try do not come out as good.

Mary, the apple cake sounds yummy, but what can I substitite for the brandy? I do not have any, and this is a dry county, and so is the one we shop in. I would not go over to the wet county just to get some. I wonder if an extract would work as well??

I have braised a lovely beef roast, and we will have stew from it for the next 2-3 days. :-)
The cold weather that has arrived makes me in the mood for stews and for pinto beans with ham hocks. :-)

Our low was 39F this morning, and 30 is predicted for Monday morning! They have already moved that temp up a day, so no telling when it really will come.

We got a nice rain during the night. It was needed.

I love "Maltese Cross". I tried for some time to get it started. I think I succeeded, but do not recall seeing it this year.

Wendy's canna pic reminds me....Mine that I brought into the utilityroom has thrown up another flower stalk!

Shoot! I wish I had waved 'goodbye' at Kathy! I hope you have a good weekend. I have forgotten your destination and purpose. :-(

LOL, Ei, I love your smoke signals. :-)


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 2:45PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon... :-)

Contributing from flat on my back, [g]. No sooner did I recover from a muscle pull in my shoulder blade, then I have had other medical issues looking for attention, with the need for an ultrasound. While leaving the office from having that done, I bent forward to get water from their water cooler and felt my lower back muscles go into spasms. DH has been home all week, since I can barely move.

I am starting to get comfortable enough to use the computer some, but keeping this short. Missing my Idyll time and hope everyone else is staying healthy!! Be back soon.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 3:22PM
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Good evening

PM - do hope your back gives you some relief soon. Are you able to take anything that helps?

Julie - macerate = To soak a fruit in a liquer or wine. I cheated a little and instead of letting the fruit steep for 45 minutes, shoved them in the microwave for 45 seconds and seemed to obtain thet same result. I'm sure the cake would be just fine without raisins. I actually washed our kitchen floor before work this morning and thought to myself - here I am doing a Julie Job LOL!! It's fun when certain things bring to mind Idyll friends. My containers make me think of Deanne, bees of Saucy, herbs of Martie (Yahoo are you out there!), succulents of Denise and so on.

Marian - I bet you could substitute apple cider for the brandy in the recipe. It's really just to plump up the dried fruit. Water and a little vanilla would do the job too. A braised beef sounds perfect for this sort of weather.

Today after school Annie and I raked leaves while David and two buddies had a grand time with the old trick of Mentoes and Diet Coke on the driveway. David is planning on it for his next independent science project. I doubt Clousseau will complain as he got to lick up the spilt coke and made off with a few mentoes into the bargain. I'm sure neither are good for dogs. But after last week when he stole and ate an ENTIRE pound of raisins and showed no ill effects I doubt this will trouble him any. Sometimes I agree with Chelone about dogs;o)


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 7:18PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I actually did a Julie-job today too - a rare occasion for me :-) I emptied out the three cupboard and stove drawers we use for storing pots and pans, cleaned the drawers, organized the pots and pans by size and use and put them back. Now I'll probably forget what I put where...:-)

PM2 - ouch, that sounds painful! Get well soon....

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 8:20PM
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PM, I was hoping you were having too much fun, but alas it's not the case. Hope you feel better soon.

Mary, along with your comment about certain things bringing to mind idyll friends, I will never look at a bag of raisins again without thinking of Clousseau. My juvenile mind immediately thought of what the yard doggie cleanup must have been like...ahem.

This Indian summer is getting a bit ridiculous, 94 when I got out of work. I would love a bit of Michelle's dreary weather and Marian's cooler temps. The new Jetta sounds like quite the machine.

Julie, your raised beds look so neat and productive. Was it Chelone who mentioned the square foot gardening book or something similar? All my vegetable gardening has been done in public community gardens, never having had one at home to dash to for dinner stuff. That would be lovely.

The job today is wanted overnight so had to forego meeting with the mayor in the evening with a group of other neighbors to discuss a police initiative on the ballot. I was just going to be a warm body anyway, knowing very little about local issues lately.

Nice to see Ei dash by. My only bulb purchases this season have been alliums and a few freesias that need potting up.

This is a photo of Marty's nemesis at work holding his catch of the day yesterday, which he caught in a lobster trap placed directly under the dock he's standing on, which is the pilot boat dock. Marty's had no such luck as yet, so there's a friendly competition brewing. The lobster seems almost horrifically massive, if you ask me...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 10:18PM
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Greetings from the PNW. I'm in my 'luxurious' Holiday Inn Express room with the ball game on, a glass of cheapo pinot noir, and will prepare for some real estate drive bys tommorow before I head back to Eugene-left DS there at DD's abode. So, this is my first day off in 10 days, and I was re-fueling in Mt Shasta and lo and behold a call from the 'awfice' , with profuse apologies , but no one felt comfortable making a decision concerning a database issue . I made it in about two seconds and was on my way again. What a beautuful drive today-it took about 9 hours , but the fall colors were fabu..I hope to get some pics. DS has already taken 60 of Aiden at last count ! We will spend the day with DD and crew and then head up to Portland late afternoon. Thanks for all the waves !

PM, glad to see you check in with us, I couldn't imagine where you'd gotten sorry to hear you are having issues with your back.It's so frustrating to be out of commission, not to mention the discomfort of back pain.

All for now...

Kathy in the Willamette Valley

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 10:43PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Too tired to start a new thread so I'll sneak in on the end here.

Denise, that is one HUGE lobster.

pm, sorry to hear of the back problems! Hope you're feeling better soon.

We will head to DD's school tomorrow afternoon for family weekend. The labs have a road trip of their own planned. One of DH's hunting pals lost his lab a couple of weeks ago, so he is taking the dogs to his home for an overnight. This will be a new experience for our two.

Kathy, enjoy your trip!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:03PM
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Another lazy-bones here, sneaking in before crossing the threshold and heading to work. It will be a long one today, I'll be "on call" until 4PM, spending the last couple of hours mending the screen panel for our deck canopy. I should be working largely "unsupervised" today. Yippeee, that means Diane Rehm's news round up, classical music, whatever I wish!

PM, sorry about your back. My co-worker has had on going back/hip issues for a few months now and has missed the past week because of them. Take care not to aggravate it more.

Woody, I had big plans to continue the "deep cleaning" this weekend, but it's supposed to be pretty nice outdoors, so I may just postpone the shelves and the top of the 'frig. (yikes!) until a more inclement day. Helpmeet has remarked repeatedly how CLEAN the kitchen looks, at the least from the countertops down! Mum always used to say that one should never fret about housework because it will always be there when YOU are in the mood to tackle it. ;)

Like Denise, Mary, my first thought was the gastro-intestinal effect a large quantity of raisins could have on a dog... You dodged the bullet. Just a reminder, though, NEVER forget to put dried blood meal away when you're finished spreading it in the garden... Dear departed Sally managed to consume about 2 lbs. of it before she was discovered guarding the torn, moist bag. The results were predictably revolting, and were waiting for me when I opened the front door. :) I believe the Mento and soda guys are from Maine. Perhaps we could try that at Idyll camp.

And indeed that is one big, "bug", Denise. Looks very different than those living in the frigid depths about 400yds. east of where I sit right now. Bugs missing one claw are called "culls", if they're missing both they're called "bullets", lol. Intensive vegetable gardening title is: "The Postage Stamp Garden Book" by Duane Newcomb, c. 1975, J.P. Tarcher, Inc.. It's a great little book and the first place I encountered the concept of double digging, I've referred to it often over the years and am certain it would dovetail perfectly into community gardens where space is at a premium and daily care and watering could be difficult.

Kathy, don't you DARE post 60 pictures of Mr. Baby or Sue and I will have to plot some sort of retaliatory prank. :) It will be fun to hear tales of your PNW adventure.

Marian, inspired by the "fruit" on your Dogwood in your post, I took a shot of our tree's crop. VERY cool! what a nice treat it has been, I'm so glad we planted it. OK, well I have to get rolling.

I urge one and all to increase the frequency of dog beatings "just because".

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 5:33AM
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